Life's been a little hard. A little rocky. Lord? Oh, Lord?
I spoke with my mom on the phone. We talked about the hardness of life, and she said these words I'll never forget—
"Baby, you keep in God's Word. You stay in God's Word, no matter what."
"I will, Mom. I do, Mom."
Keep doing that thing, she'd meant. Love the Lord with all ... your all ... can't-get-enough-all.
I'll stay in God's
Running out of Wal-Mart, Wally World, that evening, I noticed this ...
I stopped for a double-take. A tiny purplish petunia grew in the crevice between the cement curb and the parking lot. How beautiful.
Bloom right where you're planted.
But then I immediately thought of Matthew 13—the parable of the sower.
"A farmer went out to sow his seed .... Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root." —Mt 13:3,6
And I knew this precious flower didn't stand a chance. Regardless of Wal-Mart's success, this little thing didn't stand a chance. Doomed. First of all, it's an annual, and in Texas, for sure, that means it only gets one chance at this life. One chance. Then it withers away, ne'er to return. Second of all, there was no where for its roots to grow, to grow down deep. What roots? It bloomed in shallow soil.
Here today. Gone tomorrow. All its precious seeds will blow away.
What does shallow even mean? Lacking depth ... depth of anything, I suppose.
Oh, Lord, how I long for depth ... depth of you.
Shallow is safe. Depth is downright dangerous.
Shallow seems pretty. Depth seems dirty.
The shallow isn't pretty very long ... like sitting prim and proper, wearing white shorts, wearing sandals to a race.
The dirty is pretty for always ... like—
The one standing by their child through every vial of blood drawn.
The one traveling overseas to meet their child for the first time.
The one remaining through every chemo drip.
The one staying up all night with a sick baby.
The one cleaning up throw-up, spit-up.
The one pulling every loose tooth.
The one digging out splinters from every tiny finger.
The one changing those soiled diapers.
The one feeding the child who can't feed themselves.
The one pushing the child who can't walk.
The one mending their child's broken heart.
The one guiding their child to appropriate dress through strong opposition.
The one shielding a child through bullying.
The one lifting up the child who failed.
The one hugging the child who didn't make the team.
The one preparing their child to leave home.
The one releasing their child to the armed services.
The one helping their child overcome obstacles.
The one swallowing their child's diagnosis.
The one leaning over their child's casket.
The one wiping away every tear cried.
The one praying over their child.
The one offering ...
In Jesus' name.
The scary, the dirty, the beautiful.
Our kids remember everything we invest in them and everything we don't.
On the surface ...
I'd rather be doing this or that. Sometimes I want those white shorts, with white sandals, sitting prim and proper on some white sand.
But down deep ...
I don't want a shallow pretty.
I want my hands and my heart to get dirty.
I want my kids to remember an investment, in them, in others, in God.
Remember when Mama did that? or My mama never did that.
I want to be a sower. I want to be a Mama-did.
I want to bloom deep and wide where I'm planted.
Walk me out, Father. Walk me out to dangerous territory, your dangerous territory. I want to reside in your world in this world. Take me out to the dirty work. Because that's where my roots will grow. Grow down deep. In good soil. Thrive. Really live. Last for eternity.
We only get one chance at this life.
What can you add to the dirty, dangerous, beautiful list? For your kids, your family, your friends, your animals? And how have you grown from the experience?