June 12, 2020


At some point each day, I can be found tending to our little garden.  I water, pull weeds and in the past few weeks have begun harvesting handfuls of herbs and savory seasonings.  On one such visit, while sifting through leaf and stem, I found something that caught me by surprise. A radish!

Now, I’m not about to present a Master Class on porch farming, but something I planted grew and entered me into the farm-to-table world.  That radish (two actually) went into the salad my person made for lunch.  I realize how simple this sounds.  People grow things every day right? But I sat and held those radishes as if the soil had spun gold.Why?  Because when Pappa declared all of creation good, He lavishly invited all of us to enjoy all of it.

We each carry an innate innocence that allows us to forget ourselves and remember Him.

Annie Dillard says, “Creation need not play to an empty house.”  I love that so very much.  My porch has become a playhouse, its stones a stage.  I am learning how vital each visit is.  These past few weeks have found me a bit gritty.  Pappa has been greeting me with goodness while needling my numbness.  And I am grateful that He made not just things that could grow but that I can grow with Him.

These are but small experiences with His extravagance, but for me they are touchstones of a reality that restores me to a place of worship.  Ruddy radishes bring me back to the place I belong.  Not one ounce of His goodness is ordinary.  No moment is so mundane that I can’t be swept into adoration.

Settled before a container, my gratitude swelled at the truth that He can’t be contained.  He will spill right over into my habit of inattention and ask me to be available to adore.  Adoration, after all, makes Him incomparable and keeps me from comparison.

Right there I said, “Come.  Let me adore you.”  With strawberries sprouting and peppers peeking, I asked myself what kind of creator would make so much, so many wild and wondrous things just to tap me on the shoulder, to traipse across my heart with His goodness.

I’ve heard these days described as dark.  I’m not so sure.  I think it has just dawned on us to turn on the light.  This present darkness is not new, just newly seen. The Shabbat He brought, that He long ago bought for us, is meant to stir us to stop looking at what isn’t and remember what is available, that we might gather His goodness like particles of light and spread those sparks from shore to sky.

Light and shadow work together in revealing His space and its shape, and forms of faulty flesh willing to make room.

This Shabbat has taught us to no longer feel guilt in slowing down and taking hold.  I’m intrigued that it began in the season of Lent, weeks and weeks ago.  Maybe it’s because of all He wants us to stop giving up and begin embracing.  To find the goodness of God for the world we spin with and are stirred for, we must simply begin where we are and celebrate the joys at hand.  A plant that grows, a bird that sings, a heart that beats.  Sweetness is needed for this struggle.  Our dullness needs delight.

Being nudged from numb summons a strength only found in the story of being with Him.  Of enjoying the minuscule in a world that misrules.  There is an indulgence that causes us to find less.  A consumption that seeks to speed Shabbat and stimulate us to be our own source.  But because we have become dulled to wonder doesn’t mean we can’t be restored to being abandoned.

We may see buildings instead of beauties, houses but not homes. Our own four walls find us fatigued within the provision they hold.  And we miss the story being whispered. Sin makes us old; redemption renews us.  There is a joy in being human, among human kind. Humans learning to be kind. Learning to wield a kindness that comes from yielding to a generous God who is groaning for our gathering.  An electronic rectangle is not our home. His heart is.

We don’t like limits, yet He is limitless.  We are in His likeness.  Sometimes we use our likeness to become self- sufficient.  Sometimes we want to push the envelope instead of reading the letter.  It is written.  What is it?  Everything. All.

Our days may have brevity but our lives have a length that encompasses the story of how far we will go.  With Love.

Maybe a war can be won with wonder.  Maybe disorderly love and disorganized worship can find shalom because we are yet living in a Shabbat and the habit of it, the hope within it will tape a “Notice” sign upon the wall of the world.  Maybe we can be the powerful witness to the reality that truth is beautiful. That it is the embodiment of beauty.

The world, which we are not separate from, but set apart for, has rejected truth. Things we have tried before may feel worn and weak, but beauty is strong.  We are dared to find beauty in these days where the Gospel is being grappled with.  The good news is for us all.  We have  “gospel truths,” don’t we?  Only we can choose if that “gospel” keeps us from being changed or is what causes us to move toward Him and what is held in His heart.

I want to carry from this Shabbat the rest He fought for me to enter.  The roots of Shabbat are sustenance and nourishment. I don’t want the crown of it to turn into a sword that allows me to disobey and take from others. I want the seal of this Sabbath to be what I can offer Him.

There is a new capacity, come from stilled days and silent hearts that has nothing to do with a kept pace but a sustainable race.  Life is no longer about what we can put out, but what we embrace, take hold of.  Whose hand we will hold.

Soon. So soon, many will cry out to Him, to save.  To come.  When we come together and sing a song over the world that is an echo of His extravagance in circumstances and situations that seemed impossible, hearts will soften to the very possibility of Him.  There are things we have each walked through that none have seen but us.  Adoration has changed us.  Awe has awakened us.

How do we start? Right where we are.  We are being called to be curators of delight. Delight  and desperation are counterparts. They reveal the shape of His splendor.  They set a table where all can come.

Community is meant to becomes a congregation that searches for beauty in everything, and finds it in each other.

I’ve added an hour to my days.  An hour to enjoy what He has created and lavished upon me, placed before me to find Him and find the courage to seek all that He does.  And I’m asking for encores.  I have missed much through my habit of inattention and I just want to ask Him to do the things He has done again instead of demanding more.  A habit heals through a pattern.  My pattern will be asking Him to come and let me adore Him.  Again and Again.