~* IN THE GARDEN *~
C. Austin Miles, 1868-1945

Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that he had spoken these things unto her.
John 20:18

It was in 1912 that music publisher Dr. Adam Geibel asked author and composer C. Austin Miles to write a hymn text that would be "sympathetic in tone, breathing tenderness in every line; one that would bring hope to the hopeless, rest for the weary, and downy pillows to dying beds." Mr. Miles has left the following account of the writing of this hymn:

One day in April of 1912, I was seated in the dark room, where I kept my photographic equipment and organ. I drew my Bible toward me; it opened at my favorite chapter, John 20--whether by chance or inspiration let each reader decide. That meeting of Jesus and Mary had lost none of its power and beauty.

As I read it that day, I seemed to be part of the scene. I became a silent witness to that dramatic moment in Mary's life, when she knelt before her Lord, and cried, "Rabboni!"

My hands were resting on the Bible while I stared at the light blue wall. As the light faded, I seemed to be standing at the entrance of a garden, looking down a gently winding path, shaded by olive branches. A woman in white, with head bowed, hand clasping her throat, as if to choke back her sobs, walked slowly into the shadows. It was Mary. As she came to the tomb, upon which she placed her hand, she bent over to look in, and hurried away.

Youthful John, in flowing robe, appeared, looking at the tomb; then came Peter, who entered the tomb, followed slowly by John.

As they departed, Mary reappeared; leaning her head upon her arm at the tomb, she wept. Turning herself, she saw Jesus standing, so did I. I knew it was He. She knelt before Him, with arms outstretched and looking into His face cried, "Rabboni!" I awakened in sun light, gripping the Bible, with muscles tense and nerves vibrating. With this vision for inspiration, I wrote as quickly as the words could be formed the poem exactly as it has since appeared. That same evening I wrote the music.



I come to the garden alone
While the dew is still on the roses
And the voice I hear falling on my ear
The Son of God discloses.

He speaks, and the sound of His voice,
Is so sweet the birds hush their singing,
And the melody that He gave to me
Within my heart is ringing.

Id stay in the garden with Him
Though the night around me be falling,
But He bids me go; through the voice of woe
His voice to me is calling.

And He walks with me, and He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own;
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known.



*For Today*: Matthew 20:28, 28:5-9; John 20; Romans 5:6, 10 & 11

Let your heart join Mary and the disciples in the garden when Christ first appeared to them following His resurrection. Respond as did Mary--"Rabboni!" (my Master).

Music

Taken from Amazing Grace -- 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions Copyright 1990 by Kenneth W. Osbeck. Published by Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, MI. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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