"Part of trusting God is accepting the goodness of what God sows, even when it bears surprising fruit. Saints, it seems, are those who let God sow at will."
-Tom Ehrich, On a Journey 6/8/09
I read these lines this morning in a daily meditation delivered to my emailbox (thank you, Jayne!) and paused to take them in. Having been flattened significantly some years ago by an unexpected meteor disguised as a committee of four white male academics, I learned fairly early on in the faith walk to find the gift hidden in adversity. Some people call it looking on the bright side, but I've never found it quite as simplistic as that.
Last night I had a peculiar dream that I won't even begin to recount (dreams are always more fascinating to the dreamer than to anyone else), except to say that two young, underprivileged boys were heroes (I liked that part), and I had two melt-downs. Oh, and there was lots of paralysis--you know, when you try to walk and your legs won't move?
I woke up feeling the weight of life's present reality, which is, frankly, a bit overwhelming. I don't have a bad life at all, and my circumstances are far better than many. I don't even feel the desire to whine or complain about anything. There are just some challenges and concerns that consume my energy and leave little remainder. It's a great time to be an observer, so I am on the lookout for fruit.
I'm pleased to share that I have spotted some.
One is a seedling. It's in someone else's garden, but seeing that it's within my line of vision I take a proprietary interest in its wellbeing. I've even watered it when I feared it might be in danger of drooping. I'm watching it with great interest, because fruit from it would be a blessing so imagineable that it would alter our life's landscape in some wonderful ways.
Another arrived in my mailbox. I didn't trust its arrival at first, but its presence eventually claimed my curiosity and I responded to its invitation. There's mutual accountability in seeing this offering grow to bear fruit, but it has wonderful, liberating potential. There are moments when I want to bow before it, but that would be idolatrous.
The whole saint thing is nice but not on my radar. I'm much more interested in the notion that my ability to recognize fruit is a reflection of trust in God. There have been more times than I want to acknowledge that such trust has been so covered in layers of dust that I wondered if it would ever recognize it again. Somehow I seem to trip over it after it's been cleaned up and is looking good as new, and I'm back in the game. Oddly enough I still see the fruit or the seedlings during these phases of emptiness, I just don't feel connected to them. Part of that divine mystery.
But we've had cool breezes and dry days and birds are abundant in our yard which means they're finding this place hospitable enough to call it home. That tells me something. And the good news is that even as I was having my meltdowns in my dream I was surrounded by people who cared, and supported, and provided the strength that I had exhausted from my own being. And two young boys selflessly took time away from what they were doing to save my day and keep me on track and make it possible for me to return home.
On reflection, and that's what this is, I suppose I can point to that as evidence that the sower has been busy. And what that means is that the fruit is on its way.