Purple in the yellow garden

The war raging within

There is a battle going on in my garden beds on the east side of the backyard. Originally, it was a vegetable bed with a small peach tree near the north side edge.

Eventually, the grassy space between the tomatoes and the tree disappeared, and a mulched area with large boulders replaced it. A few of my least favorite colors were planted near the rocks. Black-eyed Susans soon surrounded the boulders, draping gracefully over them as they grew taller. Vivid orange cosmos grew among them. This became the place for the loud, hot colors that didn’t fit anywhere else.

On the opposite side of the yard were my cool hues; purples and blues made a palette more to my liking, while I could still appreciate the hot colors opposite them.

That was the vision.

The reality? Last spring I attempted to move a few stray yellow irises out of the cool-hued bed to put into the area where “road line yellow” prevailed. I must have gotten the wrong ones transplanted, along with some deep blue larkspur. The dark yellow remained, but lavender irises bloomed by the boulders!

In the meantime, I was gifted with a wonderful cinnamon-colored iris which would perfectly complement those glaring yellows and oranges in the east garden. As luck would have it, the donor gave me a purple and white iris instead.

Now, don’t get me wrong; I love all the colors. The irises beautifully coordinated with the larkspur and were quite the eye-catchers in what was supposed to be a yellow bed. As a matter of fact, there was almost no scrap of yellow where all the mishaps took place!

The struggle to get the colors right in my garden is one that may be overcome eventually, but the apostle Paul gives us insight into a greater struggle that happens spiritually.

“For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate. But if I do the very thing I do not want to do, I agree with the Law, confessing that the Law is good. So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me.
“I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good. For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin” (Romans 7:15-25, NASB).

This week, I have been moving irises…again. The same goes for constantly realigning my words and actions.

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Christine (Tina) Berglund

Christine lives in middle Tennessee with her husband Gary, a.k.a. "The Yard Boy." They have served churches in eight states where Gary has preached full-time most of their married lives. The children have flown the nest, but they "baby" their plants now, and even get to visit grandchildren once in a while.

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