Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Weeds in the Garden


The breath of God brushes along my naked flesh.
I can feel it in the gentle breeze.
The pleasant perfumes from His wild flowers tantalize my senses.
God covers the landscape as one laying a blanket over a loved one.
It is a quilt made of many unique fabrics.
A patch of grass, dark, lush, shadowed.
No one knows I’m here in this secluded meadow.
It is just me, God, and the crickets.
A pond of water, rippling, rhythmic radiant lay at my feet.
Wait . . .
Interruption, barking dogs frolicking in the grass,
buzzing deer fly around my head.
Who is flying that airplane in the middle of my God moment?
Okay . . . where was I?
Blue sky, floating drifting clouds pass by like a ship set sail,
moving forever changing.
Tassels, wild daisies, and purple wild flowers,
interspersed amongst the field of grass.
All intertwined into this perfect quilt.
God, you create such amazing patch work.
Even I am woven into it.
I feel like I’m being bathed in the embrace of your loving arms.
Cuddled in a safe warm place.
It makes me feel like I might have already been raptured into your Kingdom of Heaven.
God, you reach far beyond the barriers of time, gravity and this tiny planet that is hidden amongst the many stars and galaxies.

God, only you can distinguish me from each single blade of grass which you have put in its designated place. You are the creative master behind all that we see and hear, the artist who deliberately uses each stroke of your creative brush to breathe everything into existence. Who can fathom the depth of who you are to each one of us, oh God?

Weeds in the Garden
I have a garden plot at our community church. It is a grey clay soil. When it is dry it becomes clumpy and hard, difficult to cultivate. Nearing the end of May I gathered up my tools: A hoe, a weed puller and a rake. I was dressed for the weather wearing my rubber boots, in case the garden was muddy, a hat to protect my head from the sun. It was a humid and hot day so I wore my favourite shorts. I was all set. So I thought. After three hours of digging and pulling up weeds, I then planted my seeds and a few starter plants. By this time my body was aching, I was very hot and dehydrated. I had had enough. What was I thinking not bringing any water to drink on such a hot day?

Having spent two days planting seeds, watering the garden I was ready to see my crop begin to grow. A week went by and not much growth. However the garden plot beside mine was really flourishing. There was a mass of green covering every inch of that garden. They must be doing something right. I thought. I’ve never once seen anyone watering that garden plot. For that matter I have not seen anyone even plant a seed there. Could I be doing something wrong? I began to wonder.

Well another week went by. I watered my garden when needed and there were plenty of sunny days when the sun shined its selective rays upon the garden soil. Potato plants started to poke their little heads out of the ground. Evidence of some hopes for at the least a fall potato cake. I had to wonder about all the other vegetable seeds I had planted. Were they ever going to grow? It seemed a little odd because I began to notice that the garden plot beside mine seemed to be sharing its abundance. Oh how nice of them to share.

Another week went by and more of those green plants were growing, not only  in my neighbour’s garden but they were taking over my garden too. I tried to pull one of these lush green plants out of the soil to see what it was. When I did, I noticed the root of it went very deep, but there was no fruit or vegetable attached to it. I noticed that when I just broke a piece of this plant off, it would still grow back and spread. Determined little buggers.

Another week went by and now my garden looked like the garden beside mine. I didn’t plant any of those seeds. That lush greenery was everywhere and it was choking out all the seeds I toiled to plant. In such a short time those subtle little green invaders choked the life right out of my garden. I have no fruit and no vegetables growing, just two garden plots filled with these useless green plants. One might as well place a grave stone there because nothing is growing.

Are our lives like that garden? What weeds are choking out your spiritual fruit and vegetables? They may be things which can seem to be genuine. For more information check-out following scripture references.

Matthew 13

Parable of the Farmer Scattering Seed

1 Later that same day Jesus left the house and sat beside the lake. 2 A large crowd soon gathered around him, so he got into a boat. Then he sat there and taught as the people stood on the shore. 3 He told many stories in the form of parables, such as this one:

“Listen! A farmer went out to plant some seeds. 4 As he scattered them across his field, some seeds fell on a footpath, and the birds came and ate them. 5 Other seeds fell on shallow soil with underlying rock. The seeds sprouted quickly because the soil was shallow. 6 But the plants soon wilted under the hot sun, and since they didn’t have deep roots, they died. 7 Other seeds fell among thorns that grew up and choked out the tender plants. 8 Still other seeds fell on fertile soil, and they produced a crop that was thirty, sixty, and even a hundred times as much as had been planted! 9 Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand.”

18 “Now listen to the explanation of the parable about the farmer planting seeds: 19 The seed that fell on the footpath represents those who hear the message about the Kingdom and don’t understand it. Then the evil one comes and snatches away the seed that was planted in their hearts. 20 The seed on the rocky soil represents those who hear the message and immediately receive it with joy. 21 But since they don’t have deep roots, they don’t last long. They fall away as soon as they have problems or are persecuted for believing God’s word. 22 The seed that fell among the thorns represents those who hear God’s word, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life and the lure of wealth, so no fruit is produced. 23 The seed that fell on good soil represents those who truly hear and understand God’s word and produce a harvest of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted!”

Parable of the Wheat and Weeds

24 Here is another story Jesus told: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a farmer who planted good seed in his field. 25 But that night as the workers slept, his enemy came and planted weeds among the wheat, then slipped away. 26 When the crop began to grow and produce grain, the weeds also grew.

27 “The farmer’s workers went to him and said, ‘Sir, the field where you planted that good seed is full of weeds! Where did they come from?’

28 “‘An enemy has done this!’ the farmer exclaimed.

“‘Should we pull out the weeds?’ they asked.

29 “‘No,’ he replied, ‘you’ll uproot the wheat if you do. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest. Then I will tell the harvesters to sort out the weeds, tie them into bundles, and burn them, and to put the wheat in the barn.’”

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Extra Ordinary

My Grandfather
My grandfather was an extra ordinary man,
extra special, extra funny, extra sweet and extra, extra grand.
Some people say John Bull was just an ordinary man.
He liked ice cream, baseball games, both family and friends.
My grandfather may not have been a movie star,
The President, an Astronaut nor travelled very far.
He was witty, very funny, sharp as a tack, never had much money.
When my grandfather was more than ninety nine years old,
He could tell you every detail, of every tale ever told.
It was a joy to see his hazy blue eyes and sincere smile.
I’ve never known a nicer man. He always went that extra mile.
My grandfather was so grand,
even if some people think that he was just an ordinary man.
If you put the extra in front of ordinary, do you know what you get?
You get my grandfather - John Bull, a very extraordinary man.

I was having a deep conversation the other day with a friend. We shared a few heart connectors with one another. A few tidbits of ourselves. Most women know what they are and you don’t get them at Tim Hortons. Tidbits are pieces of the center part of the donuts of our lives; the things dear to our heart. They are moments or events in our lives which mould us into the people we are and into the people we become. I’m sure when I was a child I was a much different person than I am now; perhaps a little more carefree, fun, innocent, with a touch of that Anne of Green Gable quality. Even the imaginations of Anne Shirley could not give a picture of what her or my future would hold. Life experiences do shape our character. I believe they are all a part of that great plan that God has for each individual life, now that I am on the down side of the hill as some may describe one who hits that half century mark. Does that mean that my life will get easier from here on out? After all, climbing the hill is the most difficult and tiring part. Going down the hill is a stroll. My fear is that I just might go a little too fast down that steep grade. It is impossible to put the brakes on time. Running the battery out makes no difference. The clock keeps ticking even though I have all these things I want to get done. Sometimes there seems to be an urgency to live life and get as much done as possible in one day. Dare I strive to the left or the right and get off the path I am on? No time to do that, it seems. The problem with going downhill too fast is sometimes something pulls out in front of you and wham. The brakes are on and we skid right into that obstacle. Repair damage – negotiate a good lawyer and have good medical-care. Not necessarily in that order. It does seem that time is moving much faster now then it did when I was younger. I don’t know if it is just me who feels this way.

I discovered something about myself the other day. I think it is funny and sad at the same time. I guess we must learn to laugh at ourselves and the sad things we discover about ourselves or else we would probably slip into a depressed state. I was almost there the other day. Then I called a friend to pray for me. I thought maybe if someone else prayed for me I would snap out of the funk I felt myself slipping into. Like I said, when you are already speeding down the hill and your life seems to be spinning out of control, sometimes we need a little help, a slap in the head, maybe some prayer, a cup of tea and even a little whine shared with a friend. (To express distress or complain) Well our conversation didn’t solve all the problems of the world, but it did make me stop working, sit down for the afternoon and just take in this friend’s company. Oh yeah, I almost forgot to tell what I learned. Well my day was full like many days seem to be lately. Don’t ask what I am so busy doing? All I know is that I fall into bed exhausted each night, my body aches from painting, gardening, cleaning, yard work and emotional drainage . . . When a friend called me up on this very busy day, I almost cried - feeling so overwhelmed. The last thing I felt I wanted to do on that particular day was drive to my friend’s house for coffee. Can you imagine? Instead of thinking of this gracious invite as a wonderful opportunity and a blessing to have a special time out, the thought of one more thing almost stopped me in the middle of that down hill slide. Then a light came on in my memory. I remembered back to a time when I was so lonely, and board that I only thought of myself and wanted to go out shopping or spend a little time with my friend. I remembered just how devastated I was when my friend told me; no she could not go out for coffee because she was so busy. Do you think at that time I understood her predicament? Not at all. Here I am seven years later trying to bail out my life boat which has that same huge hole in it. The water is coming in faster than I can bail it out. Believe me, I was a good and quick bailer when I was a child. Bailing the water out of our boats had to be done if I wanted the reward of driving down Cooks Bay like my hair was on fire. So the funny part was in me realizing what it must have been like for my friend years back. I love wearing hand-me-downs. Her shoe fits me perfectly. I couldn’t help but think what a jerk I used to be. Now, I realize why she didn’t want my burdened friendship vying for her time.

Don’t we all strive at times to do things we think need to be done? Isn’t there something deep inside all of us that wants things to be better? Do we have a need to do something grand as to give ourselves some kind of self worth? My friend asked me a very good question. I had to really think about it. “Why can’t we be ordinary?” she asked. Actually her question stumped me for a moment. My analytical friend made me think. Is there not something so peaceful about knowing that in our ordinariness, with Christ Jesus that it is enough? The simplicity of our individual lives is extra special and unique. In fact being ordinary can be extraordinary. I looked up into the sky and saw this eagle soaring high above us like it was being carried by the wind. I thought yeah, “Why do we have to try and be the eagle? Why can’t we be satisfied being like a sparrow? There is a song that comes to mind.

His Eye Is On the Sparrow

“Why should I feel discouraged, why should the shadows come?
Why should my heart be lonely and long for heav’n and home;
when Jesus is my portion?
My constant friend is He.
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.”

Thank you my insightful friend for the flower that sits on my kitchen table.
It is a reminder of the flowers in my life.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Back Door

Step outside my back door.
Walk a few steps
Lilac flowers cover the path like sprinkled lace.
It must be God’s grace.

A hundred more steps before you reach the crest of the hill.
Embrace the moment and be still.
Wild flowers lay amongst the uncultivated grass.
Fields of green shimmer and dash.

Legs tickle with the brush of painted flowers.
The woodwinds symphony of praises empowers.
Birds chirp, frogs whistle a God orchestrated song.
It makes one feel strong.

Trees sway aggressively in majestic praise.
Dancing with a quiver full of leaves.
Birds glide with the wind up and down
In perfect harmony with every quiet sound.

Blue sky reflects off the calm of the pond.
Creating an inimitable bond.
Tiny waves glitter over the water like diamonds enhanced by the sun.
One can almost see the angels dipping their wings and having fun.

Everything is dancing to an eccentric rhythm.
Freedom from bondage to escape like the light from a prism.
A water show of unmistakable magnitude.
Life changing, perspective making, gratitude.

Rustling to a crescendo of a song that never ends
Through the window of our eyes we see a glimpse of Heaven
Standing at the highest place like a queen.
A view untarnished and rarely seen.

Soft, romantic, spontaneous, charismatic, gentle and amazing.
God’s poetic song of love is peaceful, soft, tranquil and capturing.
No words can recreate all that God lavishes on us or the depth of His
amazing love which He generously pours out to each of us every day.

Exult the Lord our God for He is worthy of all our praise.

2011-06-02 – Rebecca Wills Robinson