Hyssop began it all for me, my unexpected new life of gardening with God’s Word. First I read about being cleansed by a plant (Psalm 51:7), which prompted me to research and discover it is part of the mint family. That made sense somehow! Next I noticed that hyssop was often paired with scent-filled cedar (1 Kings 4:33), and suddenly I became crazed for its smell! The fragrance must be the reason, I thought, that hyssop is the intimate icon of God’s washing away, making clean the diseased (Leviticus 14:4) and snowy-white the blood-stained soldier (Psalm 51:7). Its branches were lifted in tender gesture near Jesus’ nose as he persevered in bringing us all God’s forgiveness (John 19:29). And now I wanted to be close to this plant, too, compelled to smell the branches that made God’s cleansing and saving work more tangible. Would I wave a bunch over my own door frames, perhaps?
Just like that, I stepped into God’s story—with a trowel, a dry spot in a backyard flower bed and a 4” pot of Origanum syriacum. A humble beginning, which has moved me in a new way, capturing an ancient book in mind and heart. What part of God’s story summons you; which plant beckons you to bring the Scriptures off the page and into the backyard? Connecting the Word to the land brings a whole new delight! See for your self the stories of Scripture planted in your own garden life.
…and if you, too, choose hyssop to begin, you will be convinced that the land promised to Abraham and his descendants was a land flowing with milk and honey. How the bees hover over hyssop!
Read more about hyssop in devotions on Watering from the Garden Work section of NIV God’s Word for Gardeners Bible, page a-26
Learn more about planting hyssop in the Plant Guide
©2013 Shelley S. Cramm Origanum syriacum, the hyssop of the Bible, growing in Irving, TX
It is amazing how little things like smell can make things so much more real to us.