They can be such flimsy, wasteful things on the one hand and killer knife blades on the other. I run to the backyard where I seek refuge amongst the sticks and stones.
No one sees tears here.
So much has fallen down this winter. Tree branches. The arbor. Me.
I climb over the dead christmas tree to get at some of the branches wedged between the fence posts. Some of the limbs prove too heavy for me to move to the burn pile. I will need the chainsaw.
I break smaller branches over my knee. The crack of the dried wood echos my own heart’s cry as I muscle my way through the mess of things here on the ground. We have all messed it up so badly, I think.
I have messed it up so badly.
The knife edge of winter is still present in the spring breeze and I pace the yard to keep warm. There is so much to clean up I don’t know where to begin. I turn circles in the yard and in the twilight I see a little white orb blooming underneath winter’s rubbish. A dark countenance shrouds the petals trying to break through broken things.
There are just six of them. They look like jewelry. Delicate. Refined. Exquisitely white.
No one but God Himself knew they were there.
Now I do.
I kneel down in my sorrow of a day gone south and push aside the dead things, and suddenly the words that spat in the kitchen only moments ago fracture and fall into an ash heap. Kneeling precedes repentance and, as I free one of the blooms from the clutches of a dead leaf, I hear His still, small voice whispering to me: This is you.
My vision blurs.
I gently wipe the dirt from these littlest of flowers and I smile because truth doesn’t always shout loud. Sometimes it comes softly, slowly like a petal opening up after a long hard winter.
It is in this moment God wipes the dirt off of me.