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A COVENANT OF LOVE©

Helen J. (Snider) Kircher

Our visit to Covenant Gardens in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, was a “spur of the moment” decision made after reading an article in the Visitor’s Guide. There we found beauty, peace and a quiet time with our Lord and Savior.

Surrounded by the audible sound of inspirational hymns, we followed the path that led to the outdoor chapel.  A stacked stone altar, beautiful in its simplicity, is unusual in itself.  At the far right corner of the structure, we see a stone in the shape of a fish, which is a popular symbol of the Christian faith.  Its tail resembles the head of a lamb, complete with eyes and mouth.  The stone was not preplanned as part of the altar and was not noticed until after the altar was built.

A Wandering Jew plant is placed in the middle of the altar and nearby is the cross.  Humbled, I knelt and looked up toward the cross.  The morning sunlight filtered through the trees that surrounded the garden.  I thought of Mary, the Mother of Jesus. I wondered what her thoughts were, as she beheld her tortured son.

I thought about her pain and her grief as her eyes saw more than her heart could bear.  And John, a true friend and the only remaining disciple of the twelve, stood nearby.  What were his thoughts?  How heartsick and frightened they must have been.  Still the love of Jesus, in His final moments on the cross, was for others.  His protective comforting love surrounded them, and by His grace is still there for us today as clearly revealed in scripture:

When Jesus saw his mother there and the disciple whom he loved, standing nearby, He said to His mother, “Dear woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.”  From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.   John 19:26-27 NIV

The Bible tells us many details of the day that Jesus was crucified.  Scripture does not reveal what took place when Jesus ascended into heaven.  We will never know that story while we are in this world.  But there must have been a joyous and perhaps very noisy celebration when Jesus returned to His heavenly home.  I like to think that God smiled and said, “Well done, My Son” as Jesus ascended His throne at the Right Hand of God.

In His Name and for His Glory,

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Helen J. (Snider) Kircher