Saturday, September 14, 2013

Holy Spirit Beginnings

When I was in high school and early college, Yeshua pursued my heart and I came to know Him as a jealous Bridegroom. In the past few years I’ve been in a season of healing and restoration of brokenness within my soul. In the midst of these years I’ve found myself caught up into the unconditional love and arms of God the Father. Now I sense it’s the Holy Spirit’s time to draw me out, sweep me up into His wild playfulness, teach me to hear and respond to the quiet promptings of His voice. So in the snatches of time I can steal here and there I’ve launched into searching the Scriptures for the Holy Spirit. I’m hungry to learn. The first verse I began with was Genesis 1:2-3. After delving into the Strong’s and picking the main words apart this is the paraphrase I landed on:

The earth was lying waste, a desolation, a worthless wilderness, an undistinguishable ruin, utterly empty. Light was withheld from the surface of the abyss, keeping it in obscurity. Yet the Holy Spirit, the Breath of God, was brooding over the surface of the waters, completely relaxed, fluttering , moving, shaking with what He was about to do. Then God said, “Let there be illumination,” and there was light all at once in all its forms—lightning, clarity, happiness, sunrise—and morning came.

This is so much what the Spirit does, not just with the earth at creation, but now in each one of our hearts. He sees what is hidden, broken, lying in ruin. Where others see a worthless waste, he envisions potential and beauty. He is not overwhelmed by the fractured filth, by the emptiness of our being. He breathes and light comes in our spirits. What was dead comes alive. What was dark is illuminated. Morning dawns. Healing spreads. Life begins.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Pitchforkfuls of Grace

So today was hot, and for chores I was assigned to empty a dump truck load of mulch into the garden using a pitchfork and a wheelbarrow. Scoop, dump, scoop, dump, until my muscles ached. I was covered in sweat, and dust from the mulch stuck to my skin. One of my housemates was helping, but she didn’t have as much stamina, and I ended up doing most of the brunt work. But somewhere in the midst of working I decided I wasn’t going to complain. It wasn’t going to change what I had to do. So between pitchforkfuls I started singing.

I will enter His gates with thanksgiving in my heart
I will enter

Stab. Lift.

His courts with praise.


I will say this is the day


the Lord


has made. I will rejoice for He has made me glad.

And another pitchforkful slid into the wheelbarrow. Gratitude is a choice, and it changes things. I began to take pleasure in the work. I realized I had things to be grateful for, like the chance to work with my hands, to feel the satisfied ache of muscles capable of rising to the challenge of a dump truck full of mulch. I wasn’t in school. I was out on a farm, getting dirty, and I’m convinced that God created the human spirit to enjoy labor in this way, that when we sit in offices behind computers all our lives we miss something of what it means to be human. Using a pitchfork made me feel alive, hearty, legit. And there was beauty even in the dirt and sweat, evidence that says this day is real, not fake, that I’m living it, and that I’m grateful to be alive, to be healthy. This is the day the Lord has made. I had a thousand moments when I could’ve complained in the next couple hours when the sun grew hotter, when I had to sit in the shade gulping water and catching my breath. But I kept pulling my heart back to gratitude. I will rejoice and be glad in it.

Now, sitting at the end of it, I can say it’s been a great day. The shower after working was amazing, lunch tasted wonderful. I was on my feet in the kitchen all afternoon canning dilly beans, jalapeno jelly, and salsa, and have enjoyed listening to the pop of the jar lids as they seal into place. The stovetop is cooling, the dishes are washed. Falling asleep is going to feel so deserved. A day well-lived, well-worked. A day full of grace to accept good things from Yeshua, in whatever form they take—even mulch and pitchforks.