Faith, Gardening, life, poetry, relationships, Uncategorized
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May{Be} I Can Know God’s Will

Pollen is everywhere! As the world buds and blossoms in spring, it also burgeons with the tiny reproductive dust that clings to bees knees and makes us sneeze.

Mostly it floats on May breezes inconspicuously, unseen. However, here in the northwest, for a few weeks each May, every surface is sprinkled with a fine coat of bright yellow – pine pollen. Like ground chalk or sugar sand, the tiny grains tinge every surface with a sulfur haze as if bits of the spring sunshine have come to reside on leaf, window, windshield, even the toes of my shoes.

And without fail, as campers begin to air out tents and count sleeping bags in preparation for Memorial Day weekend camp-outs, the yellow dust collects on every surface and in every outdoor corner. Then, again without fail, the forecast annually predicts rain, rain, rain. Rain that will lather and rinse away the millions of pollens and spores and the last of winter’s dirt; rain that will spoil hikes and bike trips and campfire circles.

The rain came earlier than forecasted this year.

As I rolled over under blankets soft in the night, I heard through the cracked window the falling of water. It drummed on the roof and the gentle roll of a thunder cloud hummed me back to sleep.

I awoke to a wet world. Yellow-edged drops clung to glossy rose leaves and left flotsam trails on the deck boards.

We’ll need more rain to flood the falling pollen away–this night shower has only begun the cleansing. Of course, with the wash-water we’ll lose the lilac’s gentle hues to rusty-petaled finality.It’s always like that in the garden. The give and take, the wait and the reward: always the blossom comes at a cost and the harvest at an investment, like an annual tax.

I take full advantage of the overcast morning, of it’s slow pace and tender sounds. Drops fall almost imperceptibly, the fountain in the west corner gurgles, the birds gather to sing and chatter and speak about early breakfasts and cooler days. And I think thoughts that rarely connect in a useful line as I listen to the soundtrack of the season.

And I find my soul subdued, willing to join the flow of spring rain and the float of pollen grain and stop the striving that so often frames my day-to-day life. I am content to be, to wander soulful from columbine to primrose to verbena, to let the hoe lie still and the spirit rest.

To accept with empty hands the largeness of the mercy of God, to realize that knowing his will requires little more of me than this: being present in his gift.

To agree in song with dependent birds the goodness of this moment. To give praise for daily provision offered again on silver plates of dawn.

To rest in the washing of this much needed rain. To take in its full-bodied organic nature over it’s chlorinated, filtered counterpart (from the sprinkler). To accept that rain comes to the garden to the very purpose of deep drinking, saturating, cleansing.

In my daily life, I resist the rain that comes unbidden. I want the predictability of irrigation: I want to praise at church, study the word when it’s scheduled to happen, give after the paycheck comes. But rainwater grace, the kind that God storms into my life on clouds of trouble or suffering, it interrupts my predictable habits and pulls at the edges of my well-planned rows.

I realize that God has changed my thoughts on knowing his will, faithful gardener of my heart that he is. Divining his will isn’t like a career with promotions and mergers nor is it an adventure, like following a cryptic treasure map that leads to golden treasure: rather, it’s a garden path of daily graces. If I meet him in the sun sparkle and rain-wet mornings alike, listen for the tempo and join him in the things going on around me, then I am getting to know the heart of God. And if I know his heart, I will understand his will. This is that “unforced rhythm of grace” that Matthew 11 (The Message) speaks of: the trill and thrum of being available in the present tense to the hushed tones of the Holy Spirit.

On the final sunny day in a string of brazen, sun-soaked May days, I sat in the section of church that suits me and heard these words from our teacher:

“God’s will for you isn’t so much the future but in the moment.”

“Don’t fall into the misguided apporach that we need to “career plan” our lives — attend to what God is doing today.”

“When we do what we know, then we know what to do.”

“Live your life worthy of the your calling {Ephesians 4:1} — Look like Jesus in your daily walk.”

Jesus had more busy moments than I have.

I have had crying, clinging, demanding bosses and children alike, but Jesus had thousands at a time. I have had difficult relationships and heart-cutting rejection, but Jesus had Judas.

I have battled in my soul agains legalism and judgement within the church, but Jesus regularly faced pointed, peppery questions from the Pharisees who measured out dill seeds for perfect tithes.

I have suffered at the hands and decisions of others and regretted choices of my own making, but Jesus, innocent to his marrow, suffered an unjust death because conniving, jealous men incited throngs of angry people and convinced a spineless, retracting magistrate to declare a death sentence.

Oh, to look like Jesus in my daily walk. If I do not find him here in the rustle of leaf and the song of bird and the drop of rain on dark, thirsty earth, then I cannot expect to find him in the cacophony of commitments and the buzz of life.

To look like Jesus in public places, I must attach my soul to imitating him in my private spaces. I will seek quiet spots and feel the grace in creation come up through the soul and refresh with blooming love and find God’s huge and immeasurable purpose for me in the quiet night of rain and rise of birds’ wings.

Won’t you join me?



  1. timelesslady says

    Terrific post…well thought out…well written…full of truth. God bless.

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