Mr. Gode's Garden
Is it for real? A truly magical garden, a very unusual community and wonders in abundance. Is it a fantasy story built on a wish? Or could it really be a place many people believe exists? What do you think?
So much of our world today is built on falsehood, and in that regard this story appears similar. But that is for readers to value for themselves. Recommended for all ages and for sharing!
He had never seen anything like it in all his young years. It is, he thought to himself, simply the biggest, grandest garden he had ever seen. “If there is any kind of wonderful plant that doesn’t grow here,” his thoughts continued as he spoke to his Mom and Dad, “it probably doesn’t grow anywhere!”
There were plants tied to strings on stakes, plants in tall cages, plants running all over the ground, plants that only had their tops showing, plants growing in raised boxes and even more. “Wow,” he said out loud. “Look at all the plants and vegetables! Fruit, too!” They were spread out as far as he could see.
He was a little bit puzzled about the size of the garden, though. Naturally, being in the third grade, he had read a lot of books and stories about farms, animals, trucks and cars, the different kinds of jobs that people had, and a whole lot more. He had a pretty good idea about some things – but this really challenged his ideas about the size of gardens.
Rubbing his eyes to make sure that what he was seeing was really there, he said, “Dad, I can see lots of vegetables that look familiar, and each of them seem to be taking up all the space in the garden.”
But his Dad was taking a good look at all he could see also, and didn’t hear his young lad. Tommy’s Mom was talking about all the different varieties of tomatoes she could see and how many kinds of good things she could be making from their wonderful, delicious sun-ripened fruit.
“There must be dozens of different kinds growing here,” she said to no one in particular. Tommy heard her, though, and made his comment again, adding, “It almost looks like there is nothing but tomatoes growing here,” he said, ”but when I look at the whole garden it seems like they only take up a little corner. I wonder how Mr. Gode does it?”
His Dad was wondering, too. As big as it appeared and as much as there was growing in this remarkable garden, now as they drove away it seemed to only take up a small part of Mr. Gode’s property. “Mr. Gode and his garden are simply remarkable,” he said as they traveled along.
Exploring roads around the village, they found themselves marveling at everything. Tommy’s family had always lived in a state where there were lots of plants and trees but not much that could compare to the beauty they found here. They had sometimes heard about the wonders to be found in the place where they were now moving. Still, like Tommy, they thought these seemed a lot more abundant and colorful than anything they had seen in pictures or read about in stories. The road had been long and they were glad they had finally made the choice to be here.
They looked at each other for a quick moment and Dad said, “This really is a beautiful place.” Mom was excited and said she couldn’t wait until the public library opened on Monday. She was dreaming of finding new cookbooks and sharing recipes with some of the neighbor ladies at the market. “We should have moved here years ago,” she said as they both admired the sights.
Tommy just kept thinking about the strange and wonderful garden, and said he wanted to go back and meet its owner. “That will have to wait for another day,” said his Dad. But Dad soon found he was thinking of meeting its caretaker, too.
Just a few weeks later, Mom was invited to go get some fresh vegetables and spend the day with her new friends. She talked about the wonderful garden she had recently seen and asked if they had ever visited there, or knew anything about who owned it.
“Oh, you must mean Mr. Gode’s garden,” said a lady wearing a fleece sweater decorated with comical chipmunks holding measuring cups and canning jars. They were posed in a kitchen scene and Mom thought it was very pretty. All of the other ladies agreed about the garden and its owner. “It could only be his,” commented one while a third lady said that’s where they were all going.
“How very wonderful,” said Mom with pleasure. “Will he be there?” she asked. A couple of the ladies laughed in a friendly way. “Probably not,” said the chipmunk sweater lady. “He’s busy all the time, usually out working in his fields or doing something else. He does a lot of things.”
As they traveled along, they were met by a steady stream of all kinds of produce trucks, vans, lots of cars and dozens of farm carts too. Some folks were walking and carrying bags full of the morning’s harvests, and Mom was a bit surprised to see a couple of youngsters pulling their wagons loaded with green goodness as well. Why, there was even a lady with a baby carriage headed their way, her infant child’s smile all but lost amid the colorful fruits and vegetables she had just gotten.
Mom had never noticed it before, but as they got ever closer, in the distance she could see a train station and lots of boxcars with “FRESH PRODUCE” and “PERISHABLE GOODS” printed in large letters on their sides. On top of that, the train ran right behind Mr. Gode’s house.
“Oh, dear me,” said Mom worriedly. “I’m afraid there won’t be anything left by the time we get there.” Not to worry, said all of her new friends. “There’s always plenty for everyone. Mr. Gode knows just how much to plant so that no one has to go without,” said the chipmunk sweater lady.
Arriving at a row of roadside stands, the ladies began gathering all sorts of prime fruits and vegetables. At the back of each stand and bin there were bundles of cards with recipes and tips for trying new things. Tommy’s Mom got several that interested her while the ladies chatted and talked about all the wonderful times they would be having together.
They roamed all around the garden, trying to find its edges or at least a corner where something might not be growing. After a long time, they realized it was a lot bigger than they had ever imagined before. And yet, with just a few steps they knew they could be on the outside, looking in at all the goodness it offered.
“As many times as I have ever been here,” said the chipmunk sweater lady, “it always amazes me to find so much, and in such great quantities.” Most of the others agreed enthusiastically.
“It makes me a little sad,” said Tommy’s Mom, “because I feel very sorry for folks who don’t know about Mr. Gode and his beautiful, ever-growing garden.” She thought of several of her friends from the old days who would love to get a chance to come and see what she had found.
Almost all of her new friends, in this new place, often acted on similar feelings. A few of them had spoken to their own old friends - and strangers, too - and invited them all to come for a visit and to see the wonderful, beautiful everbearing garden. A few hadn’t taken the time to tell anyone though, so no one had heard about the splendid abundance of this ever-producing wonder from them.
So, it may be that Mr. Gode and his excellent garden may have simply remained a curious tale to those in that unfortunate last category. But even among them were some who had heard about it somewhere, sometime. Many thought it was just a story probably best suited to children and nice but simple-minded folks. Still, the marvelous garden always gave an abundance in every season.
By now, you’ve probably guessed there really isn’t any place like this anywhere. You also probably know that there isn’t any garden that grows year round and has every type of good-to-eat plant possible. And as well, you probably guessed that “Mr. Gode” is a made-up character. Well, let me tell you the truth about that.
In this thinly veiled story, “Mr. Gode” is actually God, Who provides all good things in abundance. But unlike earthly gardens, God’s own garden of love, care, concern, guidance, tenderness, comfort and more does indeed produce every kind of good thing according to His will, all year long and in every amount needed. It’s always there, if we will trust in Him and live according to His wishes.
The Bible is full of amazing stories about God and His greatness. If you want to enjoy the fruitful abundance of His special provision – what this story calls His "garden" – you can learn more today in the pages of Scripture as others have for thousands of years.
The Bible isn’t a collection of fantasy tales. It does indeed contain all kinds of stories and wisdom about forgiveness, triumph, love, overcoming obstacles and hardships, adventure, history, honor, great battles and conflicts, poetry and much more. There is not a single word in it that is untrue. It honestly is a garden of wonder, hope and truth directed by God that you can enjoy anytime, while there is time.
Happy reading! I hope we will meet as new friends in God’s beautiful, neverceasing garden!
- The End -
Mr. Gode's Garden / © L.L. Hamilton, Jr.
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