We’re up at the garden watering plants severely parched from July’s heat and the neglect of a family gone for the weekend. And although all nature appears to have me at its mercy, I am content. Content with the silence. Silence of the bees hum, hawks cry, pulled hose through tall weeds. I surprise myself when I find I am even content with the moans, heavy sighs, and, yes, the outcry of little son wailing his protest at being IN the garden.
For two and a half hours we three bend low over water and weeds, and the Spirit moves about inside this mother with a stillness all His own. I, who was made from this dirt, now pulls from the dirt all the green that cannot be there if I am to eat anything good from it.
My two young ones are not patient with me or any part of this garden today, and they let me know over and over again, and I feel mildly like Moses walking them through the rituals of what God has given and how we tend it and nurture it, but their stillness never comes. Like Moses I walk slow and speak what words can only come from the Pillar of Fire and talk joy and thankfulness to them, but, alas, when the last row is wet and we walk down the long slope towards home I can see they are not convinced.
Yet I am content. I am content for I am filled with Grace and my human hand has tried to give Grace in the only way a Mother can.
The road is long and I pray this pure Grace weaves its way through.
Then why, several days later, does it take so much for me to find and feel that same Spirit of Grace when questions arise as to “what are YOU doing?”. Words that demand and now I’m the one not convinced. Fingers are pointed and people are all thrown into one gunny sack and tossed in front of the judgement seat and they don’t even know it. I feel the tight pull of being stymied and it becomes the wall climb of my faith, my upstream intent to find the pure purpose of this. This judgement being doled out and how do I stroke through this wave of discontent?
I look desperately for the gift. I feel my head hanging low and know that my eyes no longer try to see because my default sees only their shortsightedness. This is where I have looked for change on the inside of me, but it feels like buckets of loose gravel under my feet and the slope will take me down fast if I do not hold on to the only Steady. The hand of the pebble Maker.
I do not want this judgement seat, and yet it has a magnet pull to my fallen self. How do I not sit….there?! I try to form prayer and stumble out something about everyone going through different phases and stages of life and how conviction must be felt, but I do NOT feel content. Not in this space. I want to escape, back to the quiet of the garden, but they won’t let me go and I try to only stay silent, for what more could I say?
What would the Teacher have said in this corner?
I have read the story of King Josiah and how he fought a battle he should NOT have fought. The story of the enemy shouting in the midst of a war for this worshiper of God Almighty to go back home because he had NOT been given orders from the Heavenly King to fight. The enemy. The idol worshiper. Telling King Josiah to wait on the Lord!
But King Josiah, he feels gallant. He feels the strong structure of what he has painstakingly built up over the years of his reign. He has spent his time in the Garden walking with God and feels that this is where he should be, but he did not ASK. And when arrows pierce flesh and his servants drag his bleeding body from one chariot to the next, I wonder if he also, then, realizes he did not HEAR either. For God speaks at all times through all things.
I struggle to hear. I don’t always know what to ask for, but I cling to Grace. And maybe that is all I have at the moment of unease. Knowing there is Grace. The same Spirit guiding me through the garden is the same Spirit trapped with me in a corner of unworthy. I must not forget to ask, and I most certainly must not forget to hear. And although silence, not words, may be the pure answer today, I must learn to trust that the battle Keeper knows the end. Maybe not speaking turns more powerful than mumbling in the long run… as long as I remember to ask.
In pure hard search,