Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Debris of My Heart – A Spring Cleaning

Isaiah 43:18-21 "Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland. The wild animals honor me, the jackals and the owls, because I provide water in the desert and streams in the wasteland, to give drink to my people, my chosen, the people I formed for myself that they may proclaim my praise.

With the symphony of sounds and smells of spring bursting forth like a volcanic eruption of emerging joy, I’m reminded of the beauty of the simple truth that creation itself declares the Glory of God. As the sound of cooing dove and the remix of the mockingbird’s medley fills the air, the wonder of His Majesty in all His majesty saturates my soul. The One who made all of these made you and me, and did so uniquely for His purpose. As He continues to reveal that to me, I am comforted that we don’t need the approval or acceptance of others for it to be accomplished in our lives. Yet if I’m honest with myself, I still find I try to make disciples of me and I’m stung when rejected. I press on to operate in His re-vision of me. Whatever new thing He is doing is painful and precious all at the same time. I know the same applies to you also, so let me encourage you too - press in and press on.

The harshness of winter has subsided and the grand entrance of spring’s fling is announced by March’s roar - almost always a lion and rarely a lamb. Thunderstorms in north-central Texas can be as comforting as they are violent. Sitting at the southern tip of tornado’s alley, we are likely to see plenty of hail and super-cells spawning twisted sisters. Thankfully I’ve only experienced one up close and not so personal. The announcement of a Tornado Watch used to fill me with the conflict of anxiety and excitement, and always followed with a sigh of relief when it was cancelled or expired. Nowadays, I often sleep best to the rumble of thunder, knowing I’m secure in the shelter of our home while the storm rages. Father – my home is You. How fitting it is that in the Masters scheme it takes seasons of storms to bring forth life and new growth and the beauty of flora de amore’. The harshness of the tempest is tempered by the promise of the rainbow and the reservoir of the runoff. The April shower is the investment for the return of the May flower.

Isaiah 44:1-3 "But now listen, O Jacob, my servant, Israel, whom I have chosen. This is what the LORD says-- he who made you, who formed you in the womb, and who will help you: Do not be afraid, O Jacob, my servant, Jeshurun, whom I have chosen. For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants.

As a youngster I remember the yearly exercise of what we called “spring cleaning.” It usually involved washing down the house inside and out. We would take the water hose and spray windows and screens and eaves and sidewalks. Armed with the spray-gun attachment, windex, and washcloths, we attacked the dirty domicile like Katrina on the Superdome. We unleashed our torrent to knock down cobwebs, old mud-dauber nests, and caked on dust blown in from west Texas over the recent months. As the March winds moderated, and the promise of July’s jet-blast looming, we readied ourselves for summer’s vacation and the eventual arrival of family from far away places. We cleaned out closets and cabinets to the point of obsession, but when we were done, it just made me giddy to know everything had a place, and everything was in it. I see the master’s hand at work in that simple principle, so let me remind you – you have a place in the Kingdom of God and He’ll see to it you find it.

I was recently walking down the aisle at work and thinking about how many cesspools I’ve had to traverse so early in this year. Quickened in my spirit that life can deal us a pile of pooh in a moment’s notice, I was challenged by the thought that we can either lament its odor, or broadcast its benefits as fertilizer for the spirit. So as winter fades, I’m brightened by the suspicion that great and wonderful things are about to “spring” forth. As I wash the windows of my soul, I offer up the debris of my heart to clear the clutter of His temple, and I purpose to make room for new growth and His blessings. As this season dawns, I sense an expectation of added new life in Christ and I see the budding in my spirit of flowers becoming fruit. The cold night is thawing and a fresh breeze is blowing through the now open windows of my spiritual house.

Not everyone embraces the storms of change or even the birth of spring. Their spiritual allergies flare up and they go into hiding afraid of the pollination of the precious. The delicate photosynthesis of the Spirit can illumine the dirt therein and cause a fit of sacred sneezing. Eyes will water for sure. I know many who will barricade themselves in isolation and miss the beauty of the butterflies. Instead of application of the organic to feed the garden of their heart, they apply synthetic weed-killers and guard themselves with glyphosates. Rather than accept the benefits of transformation, they fearfully spread the pre-emergent that suffocates the assembly of the soul. I love that the pruning of the dead wood of my tree of life, and the clippings from scalping the lawn of my selfish will are composted and decomposed to make me a fertile seed bed of His love. It is interesting that He sees fit to reintroduce the dung rather than remove it. He redeems my muck and transforms it into marvel. It’s kind of cool that the morning of Jesus’ resurrection Mary mistook Him for the gardener. I think she may have had it right at first sight. Eden is on my mind as the dead of winter is gone and spring has sprung into full bloom.


Debris in my heart clutters my soul,
Come be a part of making me whole.
Clear my heart with your matchless grace.
I turn back to you here in this place.

Love without end
I find once again
Love without end
Broken me mend.
Love without end
The lost you will send
May I be a friend
and show,
Your love without end.

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