I decided that I couldn’t put it off another day. The weeds in my flowerbed were now spreading into the yard! I’d already missed some of the better days for working in the yard but now the decision was made, it was time to set the body in motion to do the hard work of digging in the soil. A few weeks before I had bought new gloves thinking at the back of my mind that I might do some work but really hoping that someone else would come along first. My grandson, Levi, had come over to mow the lawn and wanting to keep him inspired made me up my game and go out to be industrious.
As I bent over to begin this tedious exercise of clearing out what looked like a sea of wavy green with prickly towers popping up here and there, the air, heavy with drops of moisture, began to seep into my soul. Here was the garden of my heart where so much had been planted but desperately called out for attention, preparation, tilling in order to be ready for the new planting, the new song, the new growth! Here was a picture of Lent.
From the very beginning, before Ash Wednesday, the Spirit had been quickening my heart, showing me at different times just how wicked this heart truly is. It is so easy to gloss over and ignore with learned platitudes how to accept and excuse my sinful condition. But praise be to God, our good, good Father, He sends his precious Spirit to weed, to pull out, to turn over, to expose and to prepare me for a new season, some new plant ideas!
As my back began to ache and my knees were telling me of their distress the song started coming…I will feast at the table of the Lord, I will feast at the table of the Lord, I won’t hunger any more…at his table! The rhythm in this song kept me going, feasting on the wondrous love of Christ, his death, once for all, securing my hope of becoming fully human, the beautiful creation that God had desired for his own. His resurrection, the guarantee that his death was effectual! Oh to see Jesus, my heart cried, and to be changed moment by moment, day by day, year by year into a reflection of his love and beauty!
Lent comes but once a year in the church calendar as a reminder of what we must continually be doing, keeping our hearts clear, turned over, ready for his coming! Come Holy Spirit and be my gardener!