Transformation Garden

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Biblical stories of eighteen New Testament women who Jesus encouraged, empowered, and loved.

The Women Who Met Jesus, BookHow could a man who had no wife, no children, no home, no job, no money, and wandered the hills of Judea with twelve men relate to women of his time, much less women in the 21st century?

That's the question that led author, Dorothy Valc√°rcel, to search for biblical women whose lives intersected with Jesus. As she explored the lives of every woman Jesus met, she discovered that they faced many of the same challenges women encounter today.

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Devotional Week 13, 2018 Wednesday

Week 13 Wednesday

March 28, 2018


“God, I’m an open book to You, You know when I leave and when I get back; I’m never out of Your sight, I look behind me and You’re there, too – Your reassuring presence, coming and going.  This is too much, too wonderful – I can’t take it all in!”

Psalm 139: 1-6

The Message




“The Man Who Never Leaves Us” Part 6


“Come, Lord, work upon us, set us on fire and clasp us close, be fragrant to us, draw us to Thy love, let us run to Thee.”

St. Augustine



Like Mary Magdalene, do I have a special reason, why I need Jesus’ presence so much in my life today?


“Lord, come to me, my door is open.”

Michel Quoist




“God is our clothing that wraps, clasps and encloses us so as to never leave us.”

Julian of Norwich


            Several nights ago, my husband and I went to dinner with my Uncle Mel.


            Mel and my dad were foster brothers – and although not “blood brothers” – they were brothers in every other sense of the word.  Since my dad died, Uncle Mel has stepped into some very large shoes left empty by my father’s death.  He didn’t do this with pomp and fanfare.  He did it quietly and gently.  This week, as our family enjoyed an evening together, I reflected on what it was that Uncle Mel has done to capture my heart and love through the years.  And what I realized is that he has a quality that is so sadly lacking in our world today – my Uncle Mel is dependable.  You can always count on him – in good times and bad times.  He has five great children, but he still has time for his extended family.  I’ve never felt as though he gave any of us less than his best. I know I can call him anytime of the day or night and if I needed him he would be there for me – and he’d turn heaven and earth with all his might.


            While some people talk a lot about Jesus, my Uncle Mel has taught me a lot about Jesus. He doesn’t forget you.  He’s there for you.  He’s dependable.  Only time and experience, through the years, has shown me how fortunate and blessed I am to have my Uncle Mel in my life.


            Mary Magdalene, after spending day after day with Jesus, learned the same thing.  When Mary came to the garden in the early hours on Sunday morning, she expected to find a dead body.  Instead she found an empty tomb – and one more thing!  She also found her dependable friend waiting for her.


            We all need someone we can count on.  Someone who won’t leave our side when trouble rears its ugly head.  Someone who knows what the word forever means.  This is why Jesus came from Heaven to earth.  He understands that there will be times in all our lives when, like Mary, we are crying alone in the garden – feeling forgotten, helpless, and at the end of our rope.  It’s at that moment Jesus appears.  Maybe he looks like a gardener or a friend or an Uncle Mel!  And He puts His arms around you, and He tells you He loves you.  Not just now and then, but always, forever and ever!


            There are certain people throughout history who I wish I had the opportunity to meet.  Helen Keller is one individual who I deeply admire and would have wished to have met.  I’m always surprised when I find something new she wrote, for her grasp of language was so broad and deep.


            This past week I ran onto this “gem” – it’s how Helen Keller describes the day she asked what the meaning of the word “love” was.  As you read this quote, let your imagination wander to the garden.  Jesus has just called out Mary Magdalene’s name.  Mary is now crying for joy rather than sorrow.  Her friend, her family, her Saviour didn’t forget her, for His was a forever love.  Here’s how Helen Keller describes the kind of love that draws us into the arms of Jesus:


            “I remember the morning that I first asked the meaning of the word ‘love’.  Miss Sullivan put her arm gently round me and spelled into my hand, ‘I love Helen.’  “What is love?’  I asked.  ‘Love is something like the clouds  that were in the sky before the sun came out,’ she replied, ‘You cannot touch the clouds, you know; but you feel the rain and know how glad the flowers and the thirsty earth are to have it after a hot day.  You cannot touch love either; but you feel the sweetness that it pours into everything.” The beautiful truth burst upon my mind – I felt that these were invisible lines stretched between my spirit and the spirits of others.”


            This is the Heavenly love Mary experienced in the garden in the presence of Jesus.  It was the rain of love she needed to water her dried and broken heart and heal it again.  You and I can experience the same embracing love today.  A love we can depend on to be there, now and forever!


            “Why weep? Perhaps when we know what it is

            To be loved, truly, deeply, for ourselves.”




“God of surprises,

When I think you are not present in my life,

You reveal yourself in the love of friends and family

And nurture me in your never-ending affection.


God of surprises,

When we think you are not present in our community,

You labour to make us of one heart

And cause us to share gladly and generously.


God of surprises,

When people think you are not present in our world,

You bring hope out of despair

And create growth out of difficulty.


God of surprise,

You are ever with us.


When the days go by and our vision fades,

Keep surprising us.

When our hope dims and our patience wears thin,

Keep coming to us.

Teach us to keep our lamps lit

And to be prepared,

That we may see your loving presence among us.”

Francis Brienen



Your friend,


Dorothy Valcàrcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus



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