The legend of the Easter Lily is that on the night Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, He cried so hard that His sweat fell as drops of blood into the earth. From those drops of blood sprouted what became known as the Easter Lily.
In Lilly's Garden by Kimberlee R. Mendoza, a "lily" finds a way to sprout within the heart of Bethany King, a young woman trying to make something of herself in the business world. The only thing that stands in her way is a colleague, Garrett Myers, who has years of experience and college degrees to rival her C.V. She adopts a ruthless, take-charge attitude to challenge Garrett and let him know she won’t play the fool, but when they are paired together for a huge contract, can they find a way to maintain peace? Bethany holds onto her defensive but as she starts working with Garrett, she starts to see he is not all that she thought he was. Meanwhile, Lilly, a young child Bethany baby-sits for her friend, acts as a fresh ray of light and love for Bethany's heart that seems to have all of these walls around it. One day, Lilly presents Bethany with news: She has been given permission to plant a garden. She wants Bethany to help her create her garden, and while Bethany has no experience with gardening, she reluctantly agrees. Then tragedy strikes and Bethany turns inward, reaching out to God as she struggles to find hope, understand why such terrible things can happen, and tear down those walls around her heart so that she can love again.
This story was short yet very powerful. It reminded me of how we often misjudge others and fail to take the time to really get to know them. Just as Lilly brought joy and comfort to Bethany's life, we can find joy and comfort in others if only we tear away our "walls" and give people a chance. This story brought tears to my eyes and hope to my soul. Lilly’s Garden is a story offering renewed hope to readers, recharging their hearts and reminding them of God's gift of unconditional love, so that we can try to share that gift with others, too.
Bethany King is a successful marketing executive who has worked hard to make it to the top. She just landed an account that will change her career forever; if only she didn't have to work with rival, Garrett Myers. Forget how incredibly gorgeous he is. For months, the man has brown-nosed his way into everyone's heart, including her boss’, so when he’s assigned to help with her pet project, she is indignant. Besides her relationship with God, the one thing that mellows Bethany is her friendship with her neighbor's little girl, Lilly. When tragedy threatens to take the girl away, Bethany will have to learn to swallow her pride and turn to the man she’s called “enemy” for so long.