The Surprise of Apology

Marigolds and black-eyed Susan’s lay broken on the counter.

Dried up and glory faded.

I kept them in vases too long and now the water stinks.

It’s hard to let some things go. Hard to let some things die.

I move the stalks and marigolds break open and seeds spill and there it is again; that spilling thing Jesus is always doing in my life.

The Jesus spill.

He who spills His healing power into a woman years bent from her own putrid spilling.

He who spills bread and fish from simple baskets and mended nets loves to fill an earthen vessel with the impossible.

Yet, perhaps it is only I who think it impossible.

Broken words, forty years worth, sear deep into my flesh fabric, woven really, into who I am, who I have become.

When cynicism whispers in the midst of another disappointment its quietness belies its ruthlessness.

It speaks one word here, another word there.

Disfavored.

Forgotten.

Unimportant.

My flesh withers and I find myself fighting one of the ugliest of fights for a Jesus follower.

It is the one that ends with me saying, “Whatever.”

Such a soul-killing, joy-stealing, hope-crushing word.

Marigold seeds scatter on the counter  and I marvel like I always do when Jesus visits me in my kitchen.

Remember you planted these from the seeds of last years marigolds?

Remember how tall they grew this summer?

Remember you had so many seeds you had to plant marigolds all over the yard?

Scatter the seed again.

It is God’s nature to take me by surprise. To snap me back to His reality.

One night God’s surprise showed up in the dining room in the middle of a party.

I heard my name spoken one, two, three times before the apology came.

It was a look-you-in-the-eye apology without the cloak of excuse and all the broken words blurred and the sword pierced.

I felt the point of it as it slowly drove into my heart and the questions flooded.

How is it that the power of a sincere apology is such that any bitter thing I hold becomes like dust?

How is that God kills me and brings me to life all at the same time?

How is it that I always forget the one who needs saving the most in these moments is me?

He cut to shreds the “whatever” that had been trying to take root in my thoughts and brought forth the promise that, despite appearances, despite what I think will always be barren, there is life waiting.

There are still more seeds to scatter.

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