‘There are articles on Vitamin G everywhere’ my husband commented. I too had seen and read many articles. But it did not occur to me until this morning that Vitamin G was the inspiration for this week’s blog.
G stands for garden. GPs are being encouraged to prescribe gardens – or parks or woodland of any description – as part of the remedy for many ailments and disorders. Some of us will have hobbies, (running, walking, trail-biking, golf, tennis, gardening) which include exposure to the outdoors and nature but do we benefit from the sustenance and support that creation offers?
For those whose activities are more limited any exposure to the natural world may need complicated organisation. For others that exposure may not be possible except through a screen, such as a wildlife programme. The important thing is to recognize that nature, creation, is an important – essential – contributor to our well-being. Human life started in a garden: ‘God planted a garden in Eden’ (Genesis 2: 8). The story of human development continues through experiences in and with creation. There is water: the flood, crossing rivers, water from rock; plants: the bulrushes, the burning bush; animals: in the ark, the plagues. And in the New Testament we have vines, fig trees, a mustard tree, wheat, the Garden of Gethsemane…
I invite you to remember those times and places when you have been nourished, sustained, by the natural world – when you have received your Vitamin G. At this present time our relationship with creation looks one-sided and uneven. Some people are receiving the benefit but giving little in return whilst other people are not only missing out on the benefit but are actually suffering. The well-being of the former group is bought at the expense of the latter.
And yet ‘creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God….’ (Romans 8:19). Creation longs for all peoples to understand and receive the benefit of the natural world. Creation cares for us and longs for us to care for creation. The natural world longs to give Vitamin G to all people!