Sunday, March 29, 2009

Maybe it is the body posture that sets gardening apart from most other activities. When I work in the garden, I am usually on my knees, immersed in dirt. It’s a posture of submission and dependence. Kneeling willingly doesn’t leave much room for arrogance and defiance. With most other occupations, the dirty part of the job is not quite as obvious as with gardening. Most doctors, lawyers, psychiatrists, poets, missionaries, pastors and politicians don’t accumulate the dark-brown substance under their fingernails. This is quite deceptive, because their work is as strenuous and exhausting, as much “a shot in the dark” and grasping at the wind as sowing and planting, watering and weeding. But the dirt under my fingernails and my aching knees are a tangible reminder of who I am, where I came from and where I am going and how those destinies intersect today, in this small plot of land I call our back yard.

There is a profound sense of powerlessness and dependence in being a gardener. No gardener ever caused anything to grow. Growth is a mysterious process which happens hidden from the naked eye of a casual observer or even an devoted gardener. Gardener must submit to the cosmic transitions which produce seasons of death, dormancy, vigorous growth, pruning, flowering, coming to fruition, harvesting, attrition and death… and again… and again… Gardener must work when it’s time to work and rest when it’s time to rest. He is guided by the impeccable internal clock of the nature that opens widows and then closes them up. The widow is not a dot on the line, a tick of the clock but a period that allows us to align ourselves with the opportunity presented and consequently live life to the fullest. This is true not only of gardening but of life and relationships too. The gracious providence continually invites us to enter through the windows it opens, to savor his rest, to lean into the wind and hear it call our name… But, not everyone hears, and those that do are often discouraged and distracted by the incessant noise pulling our attention in all other directions. No wonder our lives are haphazard and void of meaning, a frog-jump from one lily pad of activity onto the next.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Trapped in maze of cobwebs,
Entangled from within,
Haunted by the ghosts of past,
Hope is growing dim.

Silence echoes
With deafening cries,
All is darkness
Of swarming lies.

Held by cords of hatred,
Breathing its deceit,
My soul has turned to ashes,
Nothingness of pit.

Roaming madness
Captured my heart,
Am I alone
In this dreadful night?

The cross is standing silent,
Against the stormy skies,
A form in tortured anguish,
Yielded, "It's finished!", cries.

Lord of Glory,
Son of my Shame,
How dared my heart
Despise Your Name?

Sudden wind descended,
With fiery, cleansing breath,
Dross and ashes of my soul,
Lifted from the hearth.

Voice of Thunder,
Speak the rain,
My parched lips
Thirst for You again.

Beneath the dross and ashes,
A thread of glistening light,
Reflecting Your expression,
Of joy and pure delight.

Washed afresh,
I see Your face,
Etching Your image
Through my disgrace.

In darkness and confusion,
Of soul's uncanny ways,
It's hard to grasp His wisdom
And see His loving hands.

The battle now is over,
My heart enjoys its rest,
'Till once again the darkness comes,
And urges holy quest.