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Thursday, August 30, 2012

finally

it's taken a long time, but i have finally figured out the spiritual significance of MULCH.

(see here to read my confusion...)

yes, mulch.

compost.

rotting organic material.

fly-attracting, smelly, soggy, gross mulch.

oh, it's significant, all right. wait. wait. wait.

a couple of years ago when i first began my tropical garden escapades, i had many revelations- if you can call them that- of the significance of many different things that grow in relation to how my relationship with God works.

but one thing i could not understand was MULCH. what did it mean? how do i relate to it in terms of a learning experience from my garden? what do i do with its characteristics- most of which are just plain gross- and translate that over to my life?

it took a beautiful  video to make the lesson clear to my gardener brain.

this unbelievable story taught me that overtop of my rocky adobe ground (read "heart") i could put anything organic that had died (read "laying one's life down") and it would change the soil (read "redemption").

and it's all straight from the BIBLE.

i'm excited. this information is not only changing the way i use the land God has given me, but also my everyday life. suddenly i see that everything in my life that lays itself down and dies, will change the hard rocky nature of my human heart into a life-bearing organism that is self-sustaining (read "GOD") and life-bearing.

watch the video. you won't believe.

but i hope you do.

and come on over to my tropical garden some day, to see how things are changing. bring a bag of something dead with you. =)

Monday, August 20, 2012

the not-so-good samaritans...

yesterday my wallet was stolen out of my purse in broad daylight at a restaurant table in full view of a group of people who saw it happen.

AND DID NOT TELL ME.

by the time i discovered the theft, reported it, alerted security, calmed down the four little ones with me who were crying and yammering and praying, and watched the videotape of the event, the thieves were long gone.

fortunately for me, their modus operandi was to grab the cash and throw the wallet away. it was found about an hour later- intact except for a bit of cash.

in the panic and rush of the moment, i didn't think much about my fellow-patrons who saw it happen... until i got home.

then it hit me; these people watched two men rob me, and did nothing. only when they saw me frantically telling the staff i'd been robbed did they come forward and say, 'yes, we saw two men take a red wallet out of her bag and leave the store. they scared us so we just protected our own bags'.

OH MY WORD.

i was mad. i'm still mad.

but in my heart i'm questioning a deeper thing- am i like that sometimes? do i watch someone being robbed and terrorized by evil stuff and because 'it's not my responsibility' i say nothing?

do i keep quiet when obvious bad things are happening?

do i use the excuse 'it's not my garbage' when i see litter everywhere and no one picking anything up?

when i see a lost crying child in a mall and don't stop to help?

when i pass a woman on a cellphone standing beside her stranded car on a highway, am i being one of the two passersby from the story of the GOOD SAMARITAN?

am i willing to inconvenience myself, or risk embarrassment or injury to help a stranger?

actually, i have many times stopped to help people and been vilified for it...i've been considered 'weird' for cleaning up my street or picking up pieces of garbage lying around. i've used this persecution as an excuse to get sloppy as a good samaritan.

shame on me.

this world has become a 'mind your own business' sort of world.

a 'don't get involved' sort of world.

an 'it's their problem' sort of world.

sad.

malls- highways- streets- restaurants- are not always safe places...but how much nicer they would be if people watched out for each other. if we all cared enough to risk a little bit to make a difference.

me included.
                               * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

linking up to emily  , hope i did this right. if not, somebody help me out. :?



Sunday, August 12, 2012

where has my daddy gone?

what did i expect to see when  we walked through the doors of the nursing home this summer to visit my father...

my heart was pounding, as it always has whenever a face-to-face with him is imminent. he is my dad, yes, but he still terrifies me- flashes of a horror-filled childhood and his years of raging/depression/raging/depression still have me trapped in the anticipated fear of being around him. i'm still about 8 when i'm with him.

the summer sun was hot, and the tall green trees sheltered us as we entered the home...waited for the doors to be unlocked ('we've got runners', they said) and choked at the smell of old age and despair. i applauded in my heart the one brave soul sitting in his wheelchair outside.

down the hall...into his room...around the bed we gathered...and he looked up with a bright smile and called my name...i put my arms around his bony shoulders and gently hugged him, an old post of a man who yields no more now than when he was strong...

a brief hour out in the shady courtyard...feeding him raspberries and chocolates, his blue-veined fingers slowly sorting out the bright fruit and carefully putting it in his mouth...reaching slowly for 'just one more' chocolate...

he entered into the conversation sometimes, but i knew he was listening even when he said nothing. his eyes slightly faded and his cognition delayed by the medication he is on to keep him calm, nevertheless he was 'there', briefly. once or twice a spark of the old dad i know flared up...he laughed softly at appropriate times...talked of old times once...was pleasant and pliable and too ready to say 'ok, ok' when we asked or suggested anything.

this was not the dad i knew. this pleasant voice, this contented body language, this gentleness...who was this, and what have they done with my father?

for the thousandth time, i wished i could care for him...but the chance is gone. i live on the other side of the planet from him.

it is what it is.

after that brief hour, after he became weary and i wheeled him back to his room, after i gently hugged him again, still stiff as a board, and we said slow goodbyes, we walked down the hall and out into the sunshine of a july afternoon.

my heart was pounding, still.

i wanted to cry out and beg them to be careful with him, to be gentle with his old bones, to wrap him carefully and watch his feet when you wheel him around the doorways, and brush his teeth and comb his hair and don't leave him alone all the time...be gentle with him!!! he's the only dad i'll ever have! i wanted to scream.

i didn't, of course. i'm told he's well cared for. i'm told the staff love him and enjoy him. i'm told he has friends that he chats with at mealtimes.

but oh. oh. oh.

how hard it was to leave him there and wonder...

wonder where my dad was, and feel like an 8-year-old leaving home.