Naked Gardening

Longwood (120)Most people who know me know I have just been ordained and installed as a pastor at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Decatur, AL! (Woo Hoo! Finally!!! Everyone kept saying how fast it happened, but it seems to me that it has taken forever, and I think that the pastoral nominating committee would say so as well!)

I grew up in a home that was organized around certain work events of my parents…my dad had furniture market in April and October, and my mom was a CPA and had tax season, ending on April 15. April 15 was always a very big deal in the Dahle house! It was only appropriate that we celebrated my ordination on April 15…a day that had always had a celebratory ring to it growing up!

I was then installed this past Sunday…May 6. It may not sound like a famous date unless it is your birthday…but apparently it is Naked Gardening Day. Yep, who knew, we have a Naked Gardening Day!? Thankfully there weren’t lots of photos on Facebook of people celebrating on Naked Gardening Day.

I am actually thrilled to have been installed on Naked Gardening Day. Why? Because the Bible starts when everyday was Naked Gardening Day. Every day was in the garden, naked, with God. The perfect authentic relationship with God, before sin entered in. It was open, and loving, and, well, perfect. Adam and Eve and God were surrounded by exquisite beauty. I think this garden may have been God’s great joy, basking in God’s amazing creativity, which included not only beautiful flowers, but God’s masterpieces, humans. Ephesians 2:10 says we are God’s masterpieces…but I usually don’t live as if I believe that…of myself or others.

Have no fear, while I will not be spending the next May 6ths of my life physically naked, I do hope that at my new garden,  Westminster, we can grow to be more naked—authentic, transparent, and personal—with God and each other. That we can see ourselves and others as God’s masterpieces. That we can have that intimacy with God, and each other, as we work together to become more like God. I hope we will learn to ask the tough questions like “How am I hiding from God? What am I trying to cover up so that God doesn’t address it or want me to deal with it? And what favorite item of “clothing” is God trying to get me to give up?” My prayer is that we can become safe enough with one another that we can be the women and men, boys and girls—the masterpieces—that God created us to be, without having to cover it up with cheap fig leaves like pride and envy and lust and jealousy and anger and unforgiveness.

Anyway, while May 6 may be the official Naked Gardening Day, I hope that I can experience a little more of what Adam and Eve experienced each day as I draw closer to the Gardener.

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Very rare blue poppy at Longwood Gardens.


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Orchid at Orchid Extravaganza, Longwood Gardens


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2 thoughts on “Naked Gardening

  1. Love this one Shannon. Great analogies and lots of plant food for thought. BTW I am going to sign up again since I haven’t been receiving emails when you post. Wonder what’s up with that?! I also wonder why I have not been able to r connect with your first sermon after your ordination. Hmmm . . .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Love the concept of “what item(S) of clothing has God wanted me to give up” especially considering the last week. Praying for you, dear friend, and Westminster community as you grow together during this lovely season.


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