I am not going to be heading out to the garden to prepare the soil for receiving new plants and seeds. For the time being I need to be an armchair gardener. I will miss digging and planting, and will need to accept the help of my husband and other helpers if the sprouting, growing, and flowering I so enjoy each Spring gets started.
In these weeks of being still and refraining from things to do, I choose a different way of fasting and focusing for Lent. This means tending a different garden – the garden of my soul. It is here that I will prune and dig out roots of unhealthy habits to make room for new growth. As welcome as the new plants outside will be, and as much as we will enjoy watching their growth and benefit from later harvest, even more important and welcome will be the results that can come from tending my interior garden.
Suppose your whole world seems to rock on its foundations. Hold on steadily, let it rock, and when the rocking is over, the picture will have reassembled itself into something much nearer to your heart’s desire. -From The Seven Day Mental Diet by Emmet Fox
Since my recent injury and then surgery day before yesterday, I have been holding on – to my husband’s loving and steady arms, the strength of my sons, our family, friends, and church, and, always, the eternal Grace in which I am bathed.. The picture has not been reassembled so much as it has been brought into focus. This camera lens has sharpened and clarified all the pieces. I am dearly loved, well cared for..basking in Light, healing.
Last month I opened my small 2015 calendar book and began entering appointments and commitments already made. I like that part of beginning a new year with fresh calendar pages. It is popular now to do this calendar recording on phones and other electronic devices, but I like handwriting little reminders of place and time. By the first week of
February, I already had a number of dates marked with plans leading up to Lent and Easter, a happy time and typically a very busy time for our family.
And then, a week ago, I ruptured an Achillles tendon and began the changes which would clear almost everything already on the calendar and replace commitments for choir and handbells and meetings with appointments for doctors, an MRI, and surgery. I was not only in severe pain, but crestfallen, disappointed. Of course I did not welcome this interrruption and the extra work it creates for my husband and our busy family, but I realized that I was not only reacting to the physical discomfort and limitation, I needed some heart work. The weeks ahead of surgery and limited mobility closely parallel the weeks of Lent, Perhaps I could consider this time of being still and healing in that light.
At the suggestion of my friend and pastor, I have registered for an online Lenten retreat which begins a few days after my repair surgery which considers the questions:Why am I here? What is mine to do? Who am I called to be? And what can I contribute and offer to the world? It is a matter of the heart. I have put it on my calendar.