The brown patches in my greening lawn are the work of grubs my neighbor tells me. Apparently my tardy application of Scotts Step 3 last year was not good enough. “They eat the roots of your grass,” my neighbor says. “That’s why those patches are coming in brown.” Yet, green blades of new grass buoy my hopes that the lawn will be resilient. Green will prevail.
Jansen got his cast on today. He fractured his wrist this week jumping from the swing and landing awkwardly on his arm. This morning was the scheduled appointment to trade his soft cast and sling for a hard cast. He was more courageous than I would have been. I have never broken a bone or had a cast. We celebrated Jansen’s bravery at Sonic.
The green cast and the brown grass giving way to green bore witness today in my consciousness. The same witness was offered by a whittler telling stories at Barnes and Noble. The witness was that there is hope for cast off ugly branches. Branches that seem to lack the redeeming qualities of their counterparts who make the cut. Branches destined for the discard pile join those more obviously suited for transformed glory. The glory of becoming a whittling masterpiece.
The whittler said it is the same with the Master whittler who reclaims even the most unseemly raw material of human lives and brings about something beautiful. Grace. So we dare not judge what the Master sees in someone else. A Gospel witness at Barnes and Noble by a missional whittler. Obrigado.
The grass becoming green despite my lack of timely attention…. The broken arm set back into proper position by molded cast… These witnesses speak of resiliency–of hope.
The healing of things broken does not come without pain. The curative act of doctor massaging the forming cast into place comes with shooting pain wrenching a brave young face. Yet it is pain with a purpose. The pain of healing is ultimately better than the comfort of living with brokenness. So we must face our pain. We must walk toward our pain. We must enter our pain.
The resiliency of life is a sign of redemption within creation…. And what shall we use to detect the signs of hope and resiliency beyond regenerative cells and molecules? Is there courage to enter the valley of dry bones and believe there is hope…even when the Powers seem to barter in futility.
In the valley of dry bones–the dry bones of war, poverty, HIV crises, orphans…the dry bones of human suffering. In the valley of dry bones in which hope is lost, where can we find hope for healing?
Ezekiel’s vision speaks of a river that brings about life, resilience where there has been stagnancy and death. The river flows from the temple out into the world. When it enters the sea of stagnant waters, the water becomes fresh and everything lives where the river goes.
Here’s to the river.
Here’s to the river flowing out of the threshold of the temple.
Here’s to the water becoming fresh in stagnant places where death abounds.