Sanctuary

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Spending time outside in nature is one of the ways that I most connect with God. The beach is probably my favorite place to marvel in the majesty of God’s creation and spend time alone with Him, but any place that is filled with gorgeous flowers is a close runner-up. Sure, I can be alone with Him in my own house, but there’s just something special about being outside, especially when it’s quiet and I don’t have to be in a rush.

Many years ago, a friend introduced me to this small Episcopal church on our city’s outskirts. The Gothic architecture of this century-old church is stunning in its own right, but it’s the gardens surrounding it that are the true showpiece. Last Saturday, after meeting with a friend for a training run and then tackling some yard work, I decided I’d earned a well-needed break. The near-perfect weather–warm but not too warm, a bit of a breeze in the air, and very low humidity –enticed me to head over to the church with a book for some time for reflection and a little light reading.

The gardens have become a popular draw for photographers; in fact, I saw two young men wandering around with their cameras as I arrived. There are several tables and chairs throughout the gardens, which I imagine get heavy use from the church members. I can envision it as an ideal spot for a small group Bible study or Sunday school class to meet.

I truly wish everyone could experience firsthand the charm of the gardens, which feature moss-strewn brick paths, fountains and all manner of flowers and plants, both sun-loving and shade-dwelling. Until you get a chance to come to Montgomery and check out the gardens for yourself, here are a few pictures to whet your appetite.

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A graceful wooden arch beckons you into one of the moss-covered walkways meandering through the garden.
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Ferns line shaded pathways, with tables and chairs scattered around for a tranquil spot for reading or engaging in conversation.
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In the distance you can see one of several fountains throughout the gardens.
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I was delighted to see how many flowers were in bloom–truly a gorgeous sight.
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It’s hard to not feel relaxed and peaceful when surrounded by such beauty.
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My vantage spot from my little reading bench. I wish I could have stayed at this little oasis all afternoon!

Where are your favorite places to find sanctuary from the outside world and spend some time alone?

 

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