While gardening this spring, I keep thinking of analogies between my heart and the earth in which the seeds grow. This morning I read a dream that an early Methodist woman had after she had begun growing in Christ, and in it she said this:
"I then dreamed I saw a bank full of green plants just coming up. While I was admiring them, one came and began to dig it up, when to my great surprise, as he turned up the shovel, there appeared a large body of all venomous creatures joined in one. Lifting up my hands and eyes, I said, "How could these plants grow with such creatures at the root?" Then he laid them down on the ground and they were spread almost all over the place. Afterwards a company of people, coming from the Foundery, began to kill them, in which I likewise was employed. But two clung to me for a long time. At last they also were killed, and I awoke. Reflecting on this I thought the bank was my heart; the plants, the graces God had sown therein; the man was the preacher; the venomous creatures were my inbred corruptions, the two last of which were pride and unbelief..."
One of the things that struck me about this woman's dream was how necessary other people were in able to help her get rid of the corruptions from her life. Had there been no "gardener," or preacher, then the venemous creatures would never have been exposed underneath the pretty surface, and those creatures would have eventually destroyed the plants above. Had there been no "company of people" to help her kill them, she would never have been able to have rid herself of them all. But through the prayers and counsel of others, she did get rid of those corruptions. And with the help of one another, so can we!
Quote from "The 'Account' of Sarah Ryan," Early Methodist Spirituality: Selected Women's Writings (Kingswood Books; edited by Paul Wesley Chilcote; Nashville: Abington, 2007), 238.