Vegetable Garden photograph by Charles Hutchins
Vegetable Garden courtesy of Charles Hutchins @ Celestah

 

The Miracle Garden

By James Maybury as told to Stephen M. Bird.   Print this Article

James Maybury grew up in England, but he emigrated to the United States and was our neighbor for many years in Ogden, Utah. He visited our home once a month for two years as our home teacher. While he had lived in England, he spent a great deal of time in the home of George H. Bailey who at one time was very ill with rheumatic fever in about 1934-35, sometime before World War II.

Members of George Bailey's family told James that when George was most ill, he was wrapped in cotton from head to foot and it would hurt him to hear the door close. George at one time had been expected to die and had been out of work for over a year. This made it very difficult to feed his family of nine children.

No Food to Eat

George Bailey was just beginning to recover and get back on his feet when his wife told him they had no food to eat. Their own garden had been picked clean. The ground had been carefully spaded to remove every possible potato, carrot or onion. The pea vines had been checked many times, but not a single pod was to be found on the vines. Their cupboards were absolutely bare, except for a small chunk of butter and some salt and pepper. His wife wept because they had no food. He went outside and looked down the road and saw the three missionaries who were assigned to their branch, coming down the road toward their home. He groaned inside because he knew they needed food.

When the missionaries arrived at his home they said, “We're tired and dirty and hungry. Can you feed us?”

George was utterly without means to comfort them, but he believed the Lord might help so he went upstairs and knelt down and prayed, “Dear Heavenly Father, I’m not asking for myself, but for thy servants.” He stayed on his knees, begging and pleading with the Lord for help, until he heard a still small voice tell him to Check the garden!

He stayed on his knees and said, “But Lord, I’ve checked the garden many time and it’s empty.”

Nevertheless, he stayed on his knees, listening, and the divine impression grew stronger, Check the garden again!

So he came down from the room and told his son to check the garden. His wife was silent, but his son protested, “I’ve been into the garden! Ask the Lord again.”

George said, “Son, I told you before, don’t doubt me—go into the garden.” His son did and found the pea vines literally laden with peas and found the ground bulging with potatoes, carrots and onions.

George then went outside again and saw a man standing on the road by the path leading to his home. The man had a wicker basket filled with bread, butter and eggs and he called brother Baily by name and said, “Take these and feed them to the servants of the Lord.”

George Bailey took the basket inside, but when he returned to thank the stranger, the man had disappeared. The garden yielded vegetables for another six months until George recovered and found work. Then it stopped. James Maybury told me the family wept every time they told him the story.

James Maybury had told this story to me or to groups that I had been part of at least three times. I eventually wrote it down as accurately as I could remember it. I submitted this story in writing to Brother Maybury sometime in 1995 and asked him to read it for accuracy. He said it was accurate and noted that George Bailey had told him the story on at least five separate occasions. He had no doubt the story was true. I believe God created this miracle for the Bailey family because I knew James Maybury to be as honest a man as I ever met and he told this story to me with absolute conviction.

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