What percentage of Americans do you think garden? 25%? 50%? Actually, according to the 2000 Census, 61% of Americans garden. If that percentage holds true today, then over 186 million people garden in the United States. Gardens are a great addition to any home. Gardening allows one to participate in the creation of life, surround oneself with God’s creation, and sometimes eat healthy, organic, and natural foods. Gardening takes hard work and effort which is usually fulfilling and soothing.
According to an article on health.msn.com entitled "4 Suprising Health Benefits of Gardening," gardening provides numerous benefits one might not expect. These benefits include greater satisfaction in life and better sleep. But I think their are certain benefits unique to having a garden with religious statues. At first it was odd to me to see religious statues in a garden, whether they were angel statues or St. Francis of Assisi statues. Then I realized that having angel statues or any sort of Christian statues in gardens added a whole new dimension to them. Walking through gardens with angel statues reminds us of an important lesson.
That important lesson is that God dwells in his creation. Any kind of garden reminds us of the beauty of life and the gift of life given by God. Having angel statues in a garden simply brings these thoughts more to mind, at least for myself. For me, walking through a garden with religious statues is a sort of spiritual experience. I tend to begin to contemplate the beauty of God’s creation and hand in our lives.
One of the first of these experiences for me was walking through a garden at a Missionaries of the Poor monastery in Jamaica. Their garden was beautiful due to both the stunning angel and Mary statues as well as unique plants. Walking through the garden one couldn’t help but simply be in awe. This garden wowed all of us on the mission trip and inspired us to bring that style of gardening back home to the states. Do you garden? What kind of statues do you like in your garden?