Years ago, in Africa, I had the opportunity to visit a British Mission Compound. Built in the early 1900’s, it sprawled across green grassy hills. There, among the other brick buildings, was a small house built around a tiny inner courtyard.

As the sunset drained away in deep hues of pink and violet, I had a chance to peek into the courtyard. I was astonished to see a whole garden of perfect English roses! What a balm to my homesick heart, for it was springtime in North America and Europe, and I had sadly missed the tulips and the daffodils.

Suddenly, I was blessed by the sight of the soft, majestic petals of a white rose. A peaceful mood settled over me. I wondered, who had planted them? How long had they been there? After inquiries, I learned of a doctor and his wife who had come from England. The wife had been somewhat reluctant, but she had bravely accepted the call of God on their lives.

She had hated life in Africa, and did not bother to learn one word in the local dialect. However, she had made a calm and orderly home for her husband. In simplicity and beauty, she had blessed his life richly. Years passed, and they returned to England. Each new family that occupied the house was blessed by the sight and smell of those roses, so lovingly and carefully planted.

When you get discouraged and feel that you are not a valuable player in the grand scheme of things…plant a small garden to cheer your soul. Fill your house with local flowers. Think of creating a “joy” to those who follow you. And remember that long ago “unplanned legacy” which has become a salve for many a homesick heart!


Philippians 4:8

…whatever is pure, whatever is lovely…think about such things.

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