Made for another world

"If I discover within myself a desire which no experience in the world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world." C. S. Lewis

Friday, June 15, 2012

A Garden of Love

For many years ministry has taken me far away from my Georgia roots, our last ministry was in the wilderness of Wyoming. In the last twelve years I've missed my grandfather and two cousin's funerals not to mention a handful of weddings. The distance has dulled relationships and each gathering missed was itself a grief.

But this week was different. In this season of life God has graciously placed me closer to family. I traveled from the Alabama coast and wound my way through Georgia pines to say goodbye. My last grandparent is gone. Grand, columned houses and orange country roads flashed past on my way home.

It was a comfort, a joy, to celebrate my grandma's life, her legacy, and her home-going, with my family. After the beautiful funeral and memorial service, conversations and hugs, my parents, sister, and I stopped by Grandma's empty house one last time.

Grandma was a gardener with a green hand. Every inch of her back yard was filled with life, at one time it had been a show place, but in recent years it had begun to reflect the life of it's aging owner. As we entered the metal gate and walked around the tiered yard I felt like I was entering the secret garden. Roses still bloomed, hydrangeas showed off their color, lilies had faithfully made their appearance but all amidst a tangle. 

I think families are a bit like the garden. Sometimes messy, in need of pruning, maybe some thorns and work to be done. But always with flowers blooming and a few quiet places of rest, beauty and potential. The question is will we enter in and participate. Engaging takes courage.

God is purposeful. He doesn't make mistakes when he crafts a family. We can embrace the gift of family, with it's challenges and joys, overcoming fear and pride for the sake of love. I'm learning that participating with God is always more productive than resisting him, that's true in our family relationships as well. What blooms when we do is a thing of beauty.

I'm thankful for the variety of relationships I've been blessed with, they shape and refine me and bring my life meaning. Is there a relationship you resist because of fear or hurt, maybe difference or time separate you. How can we engage and allow those relationships to be transformed by grace, blessing both people?
I brought a plant and angel home from my grandma's garden as a reminder that beauty lies locked inside the heart of every relationship.

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