A cancelled walk this morning due to on-going rain led me once again to my mess of a back yard. It’s bad. Really bad. The first thing you notice when you walk or look back there is the gigantic hole in the middle of the yard. It is a hole with metal sides approximately 32 ft. x 15 ft. x 4-8 ft. deep. At one time you saw beautiful blue water, gorgeous flowers, and a deck full of cozy lounge chairs inviting you to sit a bit and enjoy the outdoors. Well, let me tell you that is not what you see today. The deck is gone and the cement around the pool is gone. Remains of those lie at the bottom of the once sparkling blue pool in a heap. Also heaped inside the cavernous “hole’ is an old mailbox, one purple girl’s bicycle, 5 dead Christmas trees (we used 4 outside this year), yard waste, food waste, toads, and some dirt. It’s lovely. Child #1 decided that he would indulge his creative side and write some words along the inside of “hole” on the metal walls that won’t budge without some large machine power to help.
Here is a visual:
And here is another: No judging……
You also might be noticing that not only is the “hole” there, but a lot of untended to flowers. I stare at it all every day. Some days, it is a quick look think about something else, and other days, a prolonged look happens forced by the dirty dishes waiting to be cleaned, that sit in the sink right below the window that looks out onto the “hole” and the rest of the mess backyard. Today, though, I am tired of looking at the mess. I head outside and in the rain and quickly forming mud begin once again to tackle the mess. I figure the weeds will come out easier with the added moisture and I need to move. I put on gloves, find the small hand-held rake, and I get to work weedin’.
As always, work and movement lead the way for heart to feel and head to think. I think how I really need to do this more often and then it wouldn’t get so bad and become such a big, ugly job. I think about how I should have my children do this. I think that I love to be outside and always have and a little rain never hurt anyone. Including me. I think how these weeds hide and sometimes overtake a whole lot of beauty. There are small flowers begging for a chance to grow up and be what they were placed there to be. There are tall flowers that have managed to shine through triumphantly in their full-grown colorful splendor. Yes, there is Beauty that sits in the midst of the mess and struggles to find its own place and brilliance. I want to cheer them on and I want to help them succeed in their place in my garden. The weeds remind me of how I feel about the sin in my life. Ugly, overgrown and trying to take over and cover the Beauty placed inside. The messes and the mess ups need my attention too. I can’t delegate the mess to someone else. My kids can’t fix it or clean it up for me. I can’t buy my way to a short cut and instant clean-up. I can blame others for sure, but the mess will still be there. I can get distracted and find lots of other things to do. There is always plenty of good and bad to do. Ignored, my mess, my sin, it spreads and grows and dulls the promises of today and my future. Left unattended, I have a big mess. I’ve made lots of big messes.
Rain helping. Me working. Heavenly Father guiding and directing. Waiting for beautiful blossoms to keep growing from the mess. There is beauty from ashes, mercies new every morning, and grace that is sufficient. I see the messes aren’t the end of our story. The neglect, the abuse, the burdens, and the hopelessness are mixed in with the same dirt that when nurtured, weeded, and cared for also grows promises, love, joy, peace, faithfulness, and forgiveness. It’s not easy work, this weedin’ work, but there is help, and hope and joy that comes in the morning. I’m thankful for all three.
to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
2 Corinthians 12:9
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.