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Redemption Rushed Full

“The Lord is unfailing love and with him is full redemption.”{Psalm 130:7}

… I wait for the Lord, my soul waits and in his word I put my hope. My soul waits for the Lord.

The time had come.

Work gloves, worn but sturdy, provided necessary covering for the hands to do the labor.

Layers of gray swirled in the watching sky above, churning clouds promising a storm.

Below the gathering sea of clouds, a woman wearing gloves walked purposefully towards the west.

She surveyed the small garden bed with more than a tinge of guilt in her spirit. But then, she remembered. She had given herself permission to fail, to fail visibly in the front corner of her yard, out in the open where everyone could see.

The rectangle had once been a pretty roadside corner set to bloom all summer long with perfect pink roses dubbed Simplicity. A variety of May-blooming iris met the street standing shoulder-to-shoulder with the mailbox.

But unrelenting winters killed the hedge roses and grass had wiled it’s way in between the network of iris rhizomes. The beauty declined into a garden of neglect: dead stumps of blackened roses squatted under the July sun, spiked-leaf weeds and dandelions sowed seeds and shared root-space with at least a half dozen unidentified invaders. Green signs of life but useless, unyielding, uncared for.

Her husband’s strong arms and back had done most of the work and hers was a job of attention. Removing the last of the roses, turning over the soil, yanking weeds from stubborn soil, clinging tight  — tending.

And it was bittersweet, this tending. Because, like I said, she had given herself permission to take care of other places, places less seen by passerby, places private located deep in the back recesses of the yard that needed her attention and her tending.

The corner garden bed had become to her a symbol. A memorial to the heartwork that she herself had experienced under the care of her Redeemer, Jesus, when her heart learned the tune to these ancient words:

“The Lord is unfailing love and with him is full redemption.”{Psalm 130:7}

Redemption abundant, redemption plentiful. His redemption overflows. Never ends.

What a comfort it was when that truth sprung, leaking redemption all over her broken heart, drenching her wrong thinking with redemption, quenching dry places in her spirit with lavish grace made alive with love.

But before the flood that reclaimed her heart, she felt as if her neglected soul was there at the roadside, bare to the critical testimony of any passerby. She was all stumps and weeds bolting to seed in a swelter; she was exposed and aware of it. It was, embarrassing at times, but mostly humbling.

For before the flood of redemption came the destruction of idols.

The idols of approval, relationships, ideals…one by one He yanked them, roots and all. She cringed and shuddered with humiliation — didn’t He care how messed up she appeared to everybody? And then,  she accepted the sin and the mark it emblazoned on her life and let Him complete the extraction.

She relaxed under the the destruction and chose to look between the dark places to realize that the work was necessary.

She found freedom in the desolation. Hope in the emptiness. She breathed deep, contented breaths, and understood that this was heart-work.

This was being cared for. And when she breathed, she tasted freshness, a watery sense like one feels near a creek cutting through a ravine, and the floods came. Redemption rushed full.

And so this small garden by the street memorialized a baptism of sorts. By way of full-disclosure, she learned to live with imperfection, wear the mismatched spiritual clothing of a work-in-progress without worrying about chuckles or murmurs from others. She learned the livelihood of the reject, the misfit, the written-off  by others.

She became the barren field, and eventually the good soil, and then a healed place. Soil turned and amended, weeds tossed into compost, wide open to sun and ready to plant new things.

///

God’s love is active and involved. Sometimes he tends to places in our souls that we’d rather leave alone. We don’t want to deal with the exhaustive work his Holy Spirit does–nor do we want the exposure. The word tells us the redemption is plentiful.

Every moment redeemed.

Every moment awash in God’s love.

Take courage, accept that kind of love for every moment.

What has redemption done in your life?

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writer, christian, wife, mom, happy person, thinker, gardener, encourager, reader...

7 Comments

  1. Oh, yes, I’m wearing “mismatched spiritual clothing” too. The hard heart-work is being done in me too, and it comes with the inevitable promise of redemptive transformation. Praise God for the One Love that never fails and never stops washing us.

    • Thank you for sharing that–I said a prayer for you. I know it’s a difficult process (the woman in the story is me) but there is true freedom in the end – such a gift. Many blessings, Aly

  2. Redemption has taken a man from the stomach of the pit of this world and spit him onto a straight and narrow path. I’m stained and scarred from the time in the acid, but more alive than I ever thought possible. God has blessed me with a life and family I thought was long past me or my kind.
    Because of His redemption I know what kind He born me to be…
    Great post, always thought provoking and inspiring.
    Thanks.

  3. This is a beautiful picture of God’s redemptive work in our rlives, written with real tenderness. With your permission I would like to forward the link to others on my own blog – rediscoveringredemption.com. God bless you!

    • Thank you Joseph! I am happy to have this shared with my link. I’m glad it touched you and illustrated redemption in a new way. Blessings, Alyssa

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