The pile has over a dozen shirts that I have saved up (and ignored) until I must do this task. I heat up the iron, turn on the music and let the Lord start to iron out the wrinkles in my heart.
I draw my curtains back so that I can look out onto the Shade Path while I work...
The song on loop is one of my new favorites, Matt Maher's song Garden because it is quiet - which I need while my two girls rest and my baby sleeps. It is also peaceful and reminds me of the Lord's presence with me...
As I start to relax, I begin to let down from my long day. Being the mother of three small children can be exhausting! I give and give, and try to give some more though part of me howls in resentment. I am worn from their needs and requests, but also from the battle within - with my own selfishness.And you walk with meYou never leaveYou're making my heart a garden
I am faced in this quiet moment with my shortcomings... all that I do not do... and all that I do, that I hate.
And I look out at that cold, almost frozen garden...
Everything green is dying down. What's left looks broken, brown, shabby...
on its way into the dormant season...
the cold, frozen, dead-looking season...
...Like my heart
looks and feels.
Our Shade Path is very near to the sidewalk and the road; our home situated on a fairly busy street. Many, many times in this fall planting season I have been out gardening in the cold afternoon, sometimes in the rain with water dripping down my hood, sometimes with fingers mostly frozen.
And they pass me by.
The cars driving home from work... the kids walking home from school. And I feel the weight of curious, incredulous eyes as they see me out there in that nasty weather. I think to myself, "They must think I am crazy."
And what am I doing? I am perfecting my garden.
That brown mess. Beloved mess. I am out there because I love it!
I love admiring what is there, even in this harsh season.
I am tweaking the beauty that will exist next year... moving seedlings... planting hundreds of bulbs.
The beauty is hidden, dormant; it cannot be seen by normal vision right now.
Only through faith can I see it already full of flowers... new growth... new color combinations... new heights of beauty.
And you walk with meYou never leaveYou're making my heart a garden
...the chorus sings on and I am suddenly struck: I am a garden!
I am brown and broken, yet loved by my Gardener.
He tends me in the most caring way,
looking happily at the new growth here and shuffling more bulbs there...
and He is making my heart beautiful.
Like me, He is an all-weather gardener... enjoying me right where I am, and patiently working into me the beauty that is to come.
Do you know what it is to be loved, even when you are unlovable?
God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. ~Romans 5:8
A video worth watching for its amazing BBC botanical time-lapse footage,
as well as to hear Matt's song, Garden.