Monday, March 15, 2010

Leaf Piles and Herb Gardens

How can these two things have any relation to each other? I didn't make a connection until recently, as I sat and let my thoughts run free. As I sat in contemplation, I made some deep observations about my life the last few months. This blog post won't be like many of the others I usually write.

Last spring, we started an herb garden in the kitchen window. As the herbs grew and thrived in the sun, the kitchen was filled with the fresh scent of herbs. In October, I could see the leaves falling from the trees through the kitchen herb window; a milestone of the changing of seasons. I raked the leaves in the front yard into a huge pile just waiting to be jumped in. We always played in the leaves, but some drastic changes were in the works last fall and this pile was left untouched. The first snow buried it for the duration of the winter months. Like the pile of leaves, the herb garden was also left untouched and it died. I closed the window blinds.

Yesterday I raked the pile of leaves. They were pretty wet and gross from sitting in a snowbank for several months, but there was still some new grass trying to green up underneath. When it was all cleaned up, I saw my first robin of spring; yet another milestone of changing seasons. Today I replanted the herbs in the window. All that was left of the old herbs was withered up leaves and dried up soil. When I was finished planting, the smell of fresh soil filled the kitchen and the dried up leaves from the old herbs left a sweet smell--one last time.

This whole business of old leaf piles and dried up herb gardens being cleaned up and replanted helped to remind me about the renewal and rebirth found through Christ. When life threw me an inside curve ball at the end of this last year I was at a loss for what to do. I felt like the leaf pile and the dead herbs would outlast some larger issues. In a way, these two things started to represent those bigger problems, somewhat like a shrine to "the issue." God has a speciel way of helping us see that His undying love will always endure, and that through Him we can get through anything life throws our way.

I cleaned up the leaves and replanted the herbs. As a result I saw new grass, I heard a robin's song, and I smelled the freshness of new soil mixed with the final smell of something good that had passed away. It was as if God was holding me in His embrace and telling me, "See, it's not so bad. I have made everything new. Life goes on."

"He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death
or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed
away. He who was seated on the throne said, 'I am making everyting new!'
Then he said, 'Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true."

Revelation 21:4-5

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