I’m going to tell you a story about meeting royalty.
And then I want you to think about meeting a King.
Long ago, before Downton Abbey captivated American women, my husband and I tromped around the English countryside for a few weeks. Gary was fearless driving on the wrong side of the road as I drooled over the stately homes and humble hedgerows. We both got thoroughly hooked on scones and Devonshire clotted cream!
Planning isn’t our strong suit so when we saw signs for Chatsworth House, we had no clue what we’d find at the end of the road. The house tour was great and the collection of art and furnishings dating back to 1549 was truly impressive.
But, the one thing that will forever stand out in my mind is a vivid pair of blue eyes and a modest but genuine smile.
They both belonged to the Duchess of Devonshire, but I wouldn’t find that out from her ladyship.
Both of my grandmothers were gardeners and from an early age I was fascinated by hydrangea, roses, and perennial borders. And in one of those strange twists our lives sometimes take, I cleaned house for the Head of Ornamental Horticulture at a University for six years. He taught me, personally taught me, how to grow almost anything. When they left for the summer to attend conferences in Holland, Japan, or the UK, I was entrusted with their 3 acre property. Returning home with thousands of rare bulbs, corms, and rhizomes, Professor Roberts and I would plant them in a sandy soil mix and wait for the green tips to make an appearance.
So when a woman, wearing wellies and the most mundane dark skirt ever, asked what I thought of the towering blue delphiniums, I thought she was another tourist with a shared love of gardening and a solid knowledge of perennial flowers tucked under her boring brown belt.
Chatting for about half an hour, she asked about my garden back home in California, and had I ever successfully rooted geraniums from a stem cutting.
We literally dished the dirt about soil and plants!
I finally excused myself and wandered into the Gift Shop thinking that’s where my husband would guess I had gone. Just inside the door a woman with a name badge asked me if I’d had a nice chat with the Duchess.
Say what? Duchess, you say? Where? The lady in the awful skirt and rubber boots?
I think that during business hours a Duchess should be required to wear a tiara or at least a name badge.
It’s all my fault really. If I’d done my homework I’d have recognized those blue eyes.
Then of course, I’d have blubbered and been self-conscious when she spoke to me. My ignorance made for a better conversation about our shared passion. Just two Land Girls exchanging opinions and sharing our green thumb experiences.
For more about her family background:
That’s my story of meeting royalty.
It took me unaware.
But every day I have an opportunity to meet with a King.
King is not the highest title He holds.
He is maker of all you and I will ever know.
He made each of us, growing us in secret.
And He waits to talk with each of us every day, every hour of the day.
If we think the Duchess a fascinating person, how much more Jesus Christ.
Let’s not mistake Him for the gardener as Mary Magdalene did.
We should think about the One we have the opportunity to meet.
Meeting God anytime and as often as we wish.
Now that is something to think about.