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The Hidden Garden: A Story of the Heart
Picture book—all ages
Published by Conciliar Press
Release: February 2013
32 pages
ISBN: 978-1-936270-38-5


in my heart... there is a hidden garden.

Within every heart is a hidden garden. We can neglect it until the weeds take over and the flowers wither and die. Or, with the help of Christ, we can care for it and make it a place of beauty, grace, and joy.

This charming parable will encourage children (and adults) to open the gate to Christ and tend the garden of their heart with loving care.

Story behind the story…

At some point a seed was planted. I have long wanted to write a book for children that touches on the idea of the nous—that place within us that searches and longs for and knows God—where the heart and the mind are integrated and work as one with holy intentions and for holy purposes. This concept of wholeness versus separation—of capturing our thoughts and somehow running them through the sieve of the heart--is one that I'm trying to make real in my own life. And because I learn when I write, this seemed like a project worth pursuing!

Children live with their heart revealed. They offer their thoughts and feelings and struggles freely, and it occurred to me that they just might not always know how very precious that heart of theirs is. I think children have an incredible capacity for touching and knowing God—and that they encounter this relationship profoundly. But do they know that they can nurture and protect and tend that place within them where God resides? So this seed, this idea that came to me a long, long while ago, has become The Hidden Garden, brought to life by the lovely Russian artist Masha Lobastov, and is an effort to help inspire the child to ponder a bit on the heart, and to know that choices, actions and thoughts have mighty consequences deep within. It's about taking an idea—an idea of pursuing virtue—an idea that originates in the head—and sending it right on down to the heart so that we can make that idea live within us, become a part of us, and become a part of our words and actions...

And of course this book is not JUST for the child. It's for you, and for me, too!