I saw a grasshopper jump 6 feet Sunday. Impressed, I measured to be sure. Sometimes I just want to know.
Thinking about my already stressed immune system, I pop an extra Flintstones vitamin. It’s time to tackle the landscape while rain drizzles.
The ground is soft. This is my best chance to rip out overgrown weeds. Working wet soil is easier than working hard soil on a sunny day. I accept that my clothes and shoes will become muddy. I give thanks for consecutive hours to focus on yard work long overdue.
Crickets chirp for hours likely because it is so dark they think it is night time. I double check online and sure enough crickets usually stick to nocturnal chirping. Again, I wanted to know.
Digging literally into my work, I smile thinking that crickets may not know that even when it’s dark during the day, there is light on the other side of gloomy clouds. Then I mental note rephrase light to be a capitalized L, Light to represent Jesus. My speed remains steady.
Eventually I realize that if I am going to finish all that needs to be done, then I’m going to have to get on my knees. There’s no avoiding the mud or muck. I must get serious. Kneeling reminds me to pray.
Section by section and weed by weed, I become increasingly meditative and prayerful thinking about how if wet soil is easier for me, then how easy must wet soil be for God? I consider how God uses our tears. I pray in thanksgiving and surrender that God will use my tears for good. Our family is in a season of change and pain. There is good to be found on the the other side of the clouds. The Light is always there.
I uncover a decorative rock that I haven’t seen in a while. I nod to the sky as if to say, “Metaphoric show off, Lord…my Rock.”
I’m in the deep end of the pool as my mind wanders. Part of my thoughts skim along the idea of leaving the day job that I’ve done to positively impact the lives of children and families for 15 years. The personal cost has been more than I imagined. Maybe it’s time to quit. I’m terrified to quit because I don’t want to disappoint God, and I truly adore my students and families.
Perhaps it was the earth and dirt that took my brain to a time that changed my life’s direction back in 1992. A group of college students and ministers (all guys from the states plus me and one other girl) dug dirt out of a foundation for a church in Mytishchi, Russia. Then we began adding brick to raise the walls. We were the first team of several teams to visit that location. I never got to see in person the finished church.
I think about the dirt moved, the drunk local brick layers, and the many crumbling bricks I carried. The Russian bricks were unlike anything I’d seen in the USA. To follow are pictures from my 1992 scrapbook.
1992 Scrapbook Pictures
On my knees in my messy front yard God whispers to my soul that just as my hands were a small part in a physical foundation that carries on His work beyond the summer of 1992, my efforts for the last 15 years are also part of foundations in lives that I can not see. His work carries on with or without me. My job is to surrender to whatever is next, to be open to possibilities.
I search the Internet once in a while over the years but rarely see any structure that might be close to what we were building in Mytishchi. I know from the scrapbook that this is a sketch the Russians had on the wall. This was their goal during a time of limited building supplies. I wondered back then how the rough red brick could become a white smooth surface.
Then last night as I prepared this post, I found it. I am certain. To follow are pictures of a thriving 2018 church in Mytishchi, Russia. I’m so pumped that it exists. There’s even a few online pics of people, now 26 years older, I recognize.
Hi Peter! Then and now:
My hands were a small part of a lasting foundation that I don’t get to see up close and I may never see in person. I don’t get to know. It’s not for me to always know.
Jeremiah 18:3-4 Then I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was, making something on the wheel. But the vessel that he was making of clay was spoiled in the hand of the potter; so he remade it into another vessel, as it pleased the potter to make.
I surrender to whatever vessel God wants me to be next.
Meanwhile, the yard is looking much better!