A devotional reflection by Pierce Taylor Hibbs on the function that was given to humans before any other – gardeners.
I’m not really a gardener, but this article points out how the first role given to humans helps us appreciate the image of God that exists in us, and how it was a denial of that image that saw us change from stewards of creation for God’s glory to users of creation for our glory.
We don’t think of this very much, do we? Of all things, why give the first humans the task of gardening? They could have been builders or poets or musicians. They could have been anything. Why gardeners? My theory is that this task, above all others, would reveal the heart of God. And it would reveal their hearts to him. In gardening, Adam and Eve would see what God is like: patient, loving, beautiful, bountiful, overflowing with goodness and giving, generous beyond all sight. And their hearts would be revealed to him; they would follow him in patience, love, beauty, and giving. They would see that a blessed life is a giving life. They would be taught slowly and happily how to follow God the gardener. The soil that met their skin wouldn’t make them “dirty”; it would make them holy.
The fall of gardening came where we wouldn’t expect it. Nothing went wrong with the soil. No pests came crawling at the devil’s behest. Nothing sapped the lifeblood of the flowers and trees. There was no drought. No—it was something more mysterious: the withdrawal of trust. Adam and Eve did not trust their Gardener.