Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Spring Cleaning

Are you a back roads kinda person, or a main roads kinda person? Maybe a bit of both?

I had a great commute when I was studying for my associates degree. I'd stick to the back roads for as long as I could on that almost hour long drive; Georgetown to Sykesville, Chesterfield to 130, and sometimes Route 68, in the days before it was cluttered by golf courses and condos.
You see more life on the back roads. More trees, more fields, more bizarre lawn art. And there's always the added bonus of those little mom and pop convenience stores (the ones that carry "Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme Pies"... deeeelicious!).

I was on such a back road drive one day, in my classical-music-and-opera-are-actually-amazing phase, when I was seized by a flash of beauty. At the exact moment that Puccini's "E Lucevan Le Stella" was roaring from my radio, I was passing a farmer's field where soil was being peeled back by a rusty old tractor. It was the springtime of the year. The smell of earth lifted up like incense, just as a flock of white gulls hovered above the farmer in an earthy paraclesis. What a sight! The music was deep and mournful, the earth open and naked under heaven, and the mystical attentiveness of the birds over it all; the scene breathed like a sacrament.

I think we have seasons, like Lent, when Jesus wants to stir things up in us. Perhaps we've gone fallow as a field and the fruits of our labors have become a little scattered. Maybe the soil of our souls has grown old and cold from a winter away from Him and we need tilling.

Christ is the Divine Gardener, the Tiller of the Soil of our hearts. If we let ourselves be open to Him, then He can literally plant new life in us. He cares so deeply for us. He will show us the roots and stones that are causing us trouble. Sometimes we can move them together, sometimes He asks that we move around them. It takes patience. But the Holy Spirit will be working in us as well, hovering just above us, carefully removing the sin and the roots of sin, as the birds clear fields of what does not belong.

If we let Him have His way, what a fruitful harvest it will be!
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