by Christine Berglund

The garden beds are overflowing with some new additions lately. A nice sunny spot of color by the peach tree comes from a new coreopsis, blooming its heart out near its neighbor, an eye-catching daylily named “Eye to Eye.”

The edge of the patio is now graced by pink frilly coneflowers, a pink daylily, and a pink lacecap hydrangea, all from a friend’s garden. You might say I’m tickled pink at the additions!

No, they weren’t necessarily extra plants from another gardener, like many of my other favorites. This friend, Robin, was moving and was unable to take her babies with her, at least for now. Her plan is to come and visit the plants until she is settled, and that’s fine with me. The plants’ birth parents are welcome here any time.

There are many more perennials and shrubs that will soon find a home in my garden just as soon as the rain stops. Some are from other gardeners that could not care for them for lack of space. I have plants of my own that will go to new gardens for the same reasons.

My bee balm has spread into the area reserved for irises and asters. Fortunately, I have found a new home for some of it. Much of it already went to the garden of my brother and sister-in-law, who like to use it for medicinal purposes.

Other additions are from generous friends. One such gardener joked yesterday after giving my friend Tiffany and me some three dozen daylilies, “See how empty my garden looks now?” He has 650 daylily varieties, and no, we did not decimate his beautiful yard.

Adoptions are priceless! We rejoice with a good Christian family over the recent news that they will soon adopt two precious orphan girls from Bulgaria, after a two-year wait. They are ecstatic! Another family, close to us, has recently mentioned that they are considering adopting a special-needs child.

The process of choosing to open one’s heart and home to another, deliberately and purposefully, is one of the ways we as humans display our closeness to the image of our Creator. It is a love that is so deep that it defies comprehension, but must be experienced to be understood fully.

Yet this is exactly what happens to us.

“You have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” (Romans 8:15b, NASB).

Our new relationship with our heavenly Father makes us want to be close to him. There is no better feeling than that of belonging. God’s love encircles us and holds us close to him. He cares for us even more lovingly than I tend and care for my plant adoptions.

“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name; who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God” (June 1:12-13).

That “right to become” was paid for at the highest possible cost–the blood of Jesus. The High Priest Caiaphas unwittingly prophesied this even as he helped plot Christ’s death.

“Jesus would die for the nation, and not for the nation only, but in order that He might also gather together into one the children of God who are scattered abroad” (John 11:51b, 52).

There are spiritual orphans out there in the world. People far and wide need to know that there is a Father who loves them and has paid the steep price for their adoption.

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