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  • St. Mark's Garden Ladies

Simple, Beautiful Faith by Linda Dorsey

Updated: Feb 8, 2020

Though I often go to the St. Mark’s Brubaker Giving Garden on Sundays, I never go in the rain. But this rainy Sunday afternoon, after coming home from church, I was determined to head out there. Curiously I felt a calling to go, even though my husband voiced his concerns over the weather and what could be accomplished out there.

When I arrived, the rain was slowing. I looked around at the glorious produce and began to prioritize my soggy chores for the afternoon, when I suddenly began to hear singing. It was certainly not a great afternoon for a stroll, but out of the misty rain, came a woman, very small in stature, dressed in black, with long, curly, wet hair. She was swaying and singing while she walked. She looked at me with deep brown, penetrating eyes.

Her first gentle words to me were, “Oh isn’t this a beautiful place! Is this your garden?” I immediately asked her to come in. I began to share with her our mission for the Giving Garden and how we give organic vegetables to those less fortunate. She instantly wanted to help! How could she be a part of this work? What did I need for her to do? She had a garden at one time in her life so she knew a little about how to make things grow. Then it was my turn. “Where are you from?” I asked. She told me her name was Diana. She did not currently have a home, but was staying with a woman several miles away, on a temporary basis. Her life’s story then began to flow out of her soul like a waterfall. She had lived everywhere, had been married but her spouse had passed on. She had been poor as a child, had an abusive father, and worst of all, had been beaten so severely by a man during a robbery that it left her with broken bones, scars from multiple lacerations on her face and in a coma for several weeks. At this point in her life, she considered giving up. She thought there was no point in living one more day. But as she lay semi-conscious and seriously injured she said she saw God and He whispered these words to her:

“ Diana, I am with you. I will give you strength. I want You to promise to live a life of love and to help others find love in their hearts. Always lay your trials and tribulations before Me. Pray unceasingly. I am your rock and your salvation and only through Me can you see the kingdom of Heaven. If you will do this I will make you strong to live another day!”

Amen was all I could say. I had a million questions. Many people have spoken of seeing angels, bright lights, visions, the Virgin Mary, etc. but I wanted to ask Diana, What did God look like? Was He in human form or was He a light? Was she afraid? Had she seen Him before? But I asked no questions. There was also no doubt in my mind. Diana had seen the Almighty, and He had spoken to her.

The simple faith of Diana; a woman who has no home, no material possessions, no family support, no money, no job, no daily food source, no one to count on, nothing. Yet, she has it ALL. She is fulfilled, happy and content, with faith as big as a mountain. Diana’s simple faith led her on that rainy, Sunday afternoon to walk almost five miles and with God’s guidance, make a left turn onto Monck Street. She had no idea there was a garden there, which could furnish her with some nutritious food. I asked her why she had come this way and she said with a huge grin, “I was just walking and praying!” Simple, beautiful faith!

I drove Diana, arms loaded with fresh vegetables, back to where she was staying though she hadn’t asked for anything. I encouraged her to come back but she has not yet returned to the garden.

I know now why God called me to the garden on that Sunday afternoon. It was not for Diana, but for me. It was so I could share this story of unending hope, love and faith; the story a woman who touched my life in a most profound way; a woman who showed me how to trust and obey, and how to not worry, but pray.

My husband asked me when I arrived back home if I was able to accomplish much in the rain at the garden and I quietly told him, “yes…I believe I saw God today.”

Amen and Amen.

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13

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