Officially, the first day of Spring is a month away. Evidently, this daffodil didn’t get the memo😊. Heralding life, it validated the ‘silent loveliness’ of our garden stone’s inscription:
How Lovely is the Silence of Growing Things
I’ve been truly blessed for most of my life to reside in the relative calming silence of ‘Rularia’, compared to the chaotic cacophony of ‘Urbania’ environs. Childhood summers were spent roaming the Pocono Mountains’ forests in Promised Land, PA, so aptly named. There, ‘silently serenaded’ by nature, I learned to rest in my Abba’s arms, quietly listening to His serene, still small voices and gentle whispers sung by Creation. In adulthood (still working on that 😊), my career adventures most always found me residing on the outskirts of civilization where, just outside my door, the unending melodies Creation’s chorus could silently comfort my soul.
‘Listening’ this morning to the daffodil’s vibrant first bloom shout . . . Spring’s Here!!! . . . reminded me of how effortless it is to be caught up in the ‘noisy busyness’ of today’s world which drowns out His still small voice and soothing gentle whispers. Throw in some smidgens pride, ego, power, covetousness, and a few other “pleasures of sin for a season”, and our ‘deafness’ hastens.
Not everyone has my luxury of living in the relative solitude the outskirts of civilization affords . . . Go Alaska!!!😊. However, whether we reside in ‘Urbania’ or ‘Rularia’, we’re all equally blessed with 24/7/365 in which to carve out some crucial one-on-One ‘silent listening’ time . . . time alone to converse and ‘listen’ to the One Who always listens to our every request, plea, and heartfelt cry.
During a one-day church retreat participants were asked to write what they thought Jesus would write to them in a letter. A 17-year-old girl volunteered to read hers first. She began by apologizing that she’d “messed up”. Instead of writing what Jesus would say to her in a letter, she’d written a deeply personal, ‘open-heart’ dialogue between her and Jesus. Here’s the still small voice, gently whispered one-on-One ‘silent conversation she humbly, and boldly shared:
“I feel awkward because it’s been so long since I’ve been near you.”
“I’ve missed you too; I think about you every day.”
“But I’ve messed up; I’ve done a lot of things I regret.”
“It’s okay child. I forgive you.”
“I don’t understand. I turn away, I ignore You.”
“I’m still here right beside you.”
“I try to live without you even though I know deep inside that You’re still a part of me.”
“You don’t have to make yourself loveable; I love you how you are.”
“Even after everything I’ve done, and everything that’s happened, would it offend You if I called You bizarre?”
“I am bizarre; more so than you’ll ever know.”
“This may sound strange, but could I please ask You to hold me, for a little while?
“My child, I’ve been waiting for you with outstretched arms.”
May each of us, like this teenage girl, find time each to escape this world’s ‘noise’ . . . snuggle in His arms . . . and ‘listen’ in ‘assuring silence’ to His still small voice and comforting gentle whispers.
PS – When we do so, I wonder if God is smiling and says . . . How Lovely is the Silence of Growing Saints . . . even this ole ragweed 😊
My rusted old watering can has sprung a leak. Over the years we’ve nurtured and raised many summers of vibrant flowerbeds together.
Having attained an advanced state of maturity???😊, and a tad rusted out myself, I’m not a big throw-away fan. I can remember my grandfather having me straighten out used nails . . . frugality on steroids! Sooooo, replacing my old watering with a new, rust-proof, sleek plastic model isn’t an option . . . Flex-seal to the rescue! Successfully patched, we’re back watering flowerbeds again.
My restoration project reminded me of a story I reflect on for encouragement during times when past regrets threaten to crowd out present joys, pondering if my life’s purpose is to merely serve as a good bad example😊
During those less than a ‘10’, discouraging detours along life’s journey, here it is for encouragement, believing that He who brings “…beauty for ashes…” created you on purpose for a purpose.
The Cracked Pot
A water-bearer had two pots, each hung on opposite ends of a pole he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it. The other was perfect, always delivering a full portion of water at the end of a long walk from the stream to the Master’s house. The cracked pot always arrived half-full. Each day for two years, at the end of the long journey from the stream to the master’s house, the water-bearer delivered only one and a half pots of water.
The perfect pot was proud of its accomplishment to fulfill the purpose for which it had been made. The poor cracked pot was ashamed of its imperfection, miserable that it had only been able to accomplish half of what it had been made to do.
After two years of what was perceived as a bitter failure, the unhappy, broken pot spoke to the water-bearer at the stream.
“I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you.”, the pot said.
“Why?”, asked the water-bearer. “What are you ashamed of?”
“For the past two years I have been able to deliver only half my load because the crack in my side causes the water to leak out all the way back to your Master’s house. Because of my flaws, you have to do all this work and don’t get full value from your efforts,” the broken pot said.
The water-bearer felt sorry for the old, cracked pot, and in his compassion said, “As we return to the Master’s house today, I want you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path.”
As they went back up the path, the broken pot cheered up a bit observing the lovely flowers blooming in the sunlight along the path’s side. However, upon reaching the Master’s house, realizing it had leaked out half its load once again, the broken pot’s despondency returned, and so it apologized again to the water-bearer for its failure.
The water-bearer said to pot, “Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of the path, not on the other pot’s side? That’s because I have always known about your flaw, and I have taken advantage of it. I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day, as we have walked back from the stream to the Master’s house, you have watered them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate my Master’s table. Without you being just the way you are, He would not have this beauty to grace His house with.”
Early morning rains gave way to 50-60 mph wind gusts as Grant and I hiked up above tree line in Arctic Valley today. Unlike my son, I didn’t have to be concerned about the wind messing up my hair 😊. . . Fun Day!
“The wind blows to the south and turns to the north; round and round it goes, ever returning to its course.” – Ecclesiastes 1:6
An approaching storm enhanced Alaska’s wild and free aura in my wanderings along the Matanuska River this afternoon. My soul is at peace in this vast and rugged corner of creation I’m grateful to call home. I M Blessed . . . May U B 2
“He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted.”
The wonders of Creation never cease to amaze and fascinate me. This morning Mother Nature revealed a Beauty and the Beast display outside our Great Smoky Mountains abode here down in the ‘holler’ by the ‘crick’.
Rhododendron blooms’ perfumed beauty are definitely more appealing than frightening, ugly dobsonflies, but each has their place and purpose in Mother Nature’s journal where all are beautiful.
Waterfall’s rhythmic splashing outside our door awakened us in the predawn. Gently roused, we headed up the mountain to Cades Cove.
The Great Smoky Mountain’s flora and fauna were there to welcome us. In silent, reverent wonder we witnessed Creation, with all her magnificent splendor, softly awake Mother Nature to begin the new day.
“God dwells in His creation and is everywhere indivisibly present in all His works. He is transcendent above all His works even while He is immanent within them.”
Fragrance of roses drifted on the fresh air cleansed by the passing storm. The sweet scent and lingering raindrops clinging to vivid pink petals created one of those ethereal ‘eternal instant’ moments sensing the unspeakable wonder of God’s creation, bathed in comfort of His unconditional love.
I came across this poem ascribed to a 13th century poet that hints at the precious ‘eternal instant’ that was mine to embrace this morning . . . I M Blessed . . . May U B 2