In the Garden by Charles Miles, has always been my prayer song, since I was a teenager. Most people have favorite hymns or songs that they regularly sing but each line holds such meaning for me.

I come to the garden alone, while the dew is still on the roses.

              I envision a garden at dawn. A layer of mist hovers over the ground in the distance. It’s cool but not cold. Daylight is just breaking and the sunlight sparkles on the dew. I see a large English garden with flowers blooming in rows. It is hushed – before the new day begins. Before I have accomplished anything for the day. I have nothing to offer but myself.

And the voice I hear, falling on my ear, the Son of God discloses.

              I feel the anticipation of finding Jesus in the Garden as I enter. There’s an active listening for His voice. I expect Him to meet me here. There’s no fear that He will disappoint me. I arrive searching for the Son of God knowing that He is waiting just for me.

And He walks with me, and He talks with me,

              The music picks up ever so slightly here. Still, there’s a casualness and an intimacy. I see me strolling by His side. I see us talking about my day, perhaps the pain in my life or making plans for the future but enjoying the walk amongst the flowers, with Him.

And He tells me I am His own.

There is no line that strikes deeper than this. I don’t need to pretend to be anything that I’m not. There is no fear of being rejected. I am loved just the way I am today; too loud, too fat, clumsy and not articulate, not funny. I don’t need to be anything but myself for Him. I am simply enough, right here in this moment. I belong and He wants to spend time with me.

And the joy we share as we tarry there. None other has ever known.

              The lightness of the word joy and the small hesitation over the word tarry. I feel the longing to move slowly and soak in this time with Jesus. Lingering in His presence. Only I have known this time with Him because it was made just for me. It is everything I need and all that I want. It heals my soul.

He speaks and the sound of His voice is so sweet the birds hush their singing

              I am Martha at the feet of my Lord here. Hanging on every word. Soaking in all of the truth and all of the love that the world has never shown me. Rapt in the wonders of the very sound of His voice.

And the melody that He gave to me, within my heart is ringing

              His words resonate with my heart. They fill me like no other love ever has or ever will. A love that is overflowing.

But the final verse, really brings this song home for me.

I’d stay in the garden with Him, though the night around me be falling

              Suddenly the day is ending, like I’d lost track of time as we walked and talked. There’s a sadness in even thinking of leaving His side.

But He bids me go through the voice of woe. His voice to me is calling.

              He’s saddened too. It’s not just me wanting to belong, wanting to be loved. He wants my company too. It’s not yet time to spend eternity with Him. But He will be here ready and waiting tomorrow morning – all I have to do is come to the Garden.

This song lives for free in my mind. My heart sings it when I’m sad or misunderstood or lonely. And instantly I’m transported to the Garden to walk by His side again.

By Vicki L. Pugliese