Sometimes an act of faith is as simple as picking up a rake.
A rake isn’t meant for hard ground, but faith goes looking for the thawed places where the tines can sink soft.
Faith braves the elements. It buffets itself against the bite of winter’s wind that whispers things don’t look so good out here.
The rake clinks ice.
A hard mound hidden under a layer of gravel spilled from the sand trucks is fixed into the earth.
Faith keeps raking because it knows a thawing is coming. It could happen at any moment on a day when the sun shines longer and the grass buried under rock and salt will stretch to reach it.
Faith braves the elements.
It works through the buffeting.
A woman up to her neck in winter gear looks foolish pushing sand off the lawn but she doesn’t care if it means she can scrape against the ice to get at the hint of green underneath. She is knows that the early work of preparation will bring the greatest yield.
She hits a soft spot. The gravel yields to the rake’s sweep and the earth comes forth striped.
Jesus’ stripes, too, a raked soft spot for healing.
The woman pulls hard and manages to bring most of winter’s debris to the side of the road. Small piles line the lawn’s edge, waiting their final demise by way of wheelbarrow.
She surveys her work and smiles. She thinks she can actually feel the ground breathing relief.
No more choke and dust. No more heavy weight.
Faith sees past all that. Faith sees the stuff underneath.
It is faith that provokes dormancy to bring what is meant to live out of it.