A FRIDAY MEDITATION – The Dandelion Says….

The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.’” ~ Matthew 13:24-26

About two weeks ago, I attended the annual retreat for spiritual directors.  The topic was Soul Gardening, so we meditated on the soul plants we had been given as gifts from God and weeds in our garden which might need to be eliminated. I thought about weeds.  What if the weeds in my soul are gifts, too and not something to pulled up or sprayed dead? Maybe, we should listen to them before we decide.

I love happy yellow dandelions.  About the first plant to bloom in the spring, dandelions are the first food available to bees.  Children make bouquets from them for their mothers and bracelets, necklaces and crowns for fun.  When dandelions go to seed and we blow on them, fluffy seedlings float into the sky to spread the joy.  When young, the leaves can be good for eating, and dandelion blooms make fairly good wine. I read that if we kill all the dandelions, the population of bees will be greatly reduced which would be disastrous for our food supply.  In spite of this, most often, we get rid of them.  We don’t want them were they are, because they are weeds…. Or are they?

Perhaps, the weeds are in my soul, along with spirit gifts, to give me something or teach me something—for my benefit and the benefit of others.  If I sit with my dandelions and listen to them, what might they tell me? I’ll share one story. I have listened long to it.

I have a genetic tendency to clinical depression and panic attacks. I don’t have them, now, but there is always a possibility if I don’t pay attention to my life.  There was an extended period, as a young woman, when I was almost totally incapacitated by fear. I couldn’t leave the house; sometimes I couldn’t get out of bed, and I was afraid of everything including God.

It is very unfortunate, I believe, that this weed growth took place when my children were little.  I wasn’t available to them when they most needed me. I drank too much to mask the fear and pain because I didn’t know what else to do. God was eventually able to break in, providing a diagnosis and assuring me of his love, and healing began. I believed that the best thing I could do for my children, first of all, was to get healed myself and so I began the long journey of recovery. I needed medication and therapy for a time and our Christian community was available to pray for me and help when I was ready to panic. So – Gift or Weed?

Rather than zapping me well, God impelled me to become well. I wanted this weed to be pulled up or killed immediately, but it wasn’t time for that.  There were lessons to be learned about me and about God that I would have missed.  The ensuing healings, redemption and transformation are part of my story. Some healing still needs to happen in my family, but God isn’t finished with us yet.

Perhaps, the point of the weeds in our souls is to get us in touch with the One who grows and heals and who turns what appears to be supposedly noxious weeds into lovely trees. Do I love this process?  No.  But I’m so, so grateful for it.

We are the broken, you are the healer, Jesus, Redeemer, mighty to save.
You are the love song we’ll sing forever, bowing before you, blessing your name.

~ Lynn DeShazo; Gary Sadler

A FRIDAY MEDITATION – A Vow of Stability

Lead me Lord, lead me by your Spirit, make your will clear for my future.
For it is You LORD, You the wounded healer,
who makes my heart sing and my feet dance for joy.
Fill me Lord, fill me with your Spirit – Spirit of love, Spirit of joy and peace.
Be my rock, be my rock of refuge, of courage and strength for my journey.
Heal me Lord. Heal me by your Spirit, my every need and want.
For it is You LORD, You the wounded healer,
who makes my heart sing and my feet dance for joy. 

~ Finian’s Readings, Celtic Daily Prayer

This prayer has been wondering around in my mind and spirit for the last two weeks.  I keep coming back to it because I need it.  I have been reading meditations and scripture hoping to be inspired to write something for most of the day and I wonder if, after five years of monthly and weekly writings and meditations, I have nothing else to say. There are two reasons why I won’t quit, now, even if I don’t feel inspired.  One is that writing helps me to process where I am in my spiritual life, and two, a person is not really able to discern whether God is leading them into or away from a particular thing when there is turmoil and/or dryness in one’s life.

I found this reading about stability from Joan Chittister’s book, Wisdom Distilled from the Daily. Stability is one of the vows Joan follows in her life as a Benedictine nun. It reminds me of my intention to stay put while I wait.

“Stability says that where I am is where God is for me. More than that, stability teaches that whatever the depth of the dullness or the difficulties around me, I can, if I will simply stay still enough of heart, find God there in the midst of them…a vow of stability is…designed to still the wandering heart. …when this…all seems irritating and deficient beyond the bearable…that is precisely the time when the spirituality of stability offers its greatest gift. Stability enables me to outlast the dark, cold places of life until the thaw comes and I can see new life in this uninhabitable place again. But for that to happen I must learn to wait…[Stability] says that we have an obligation to see things through until we have done for them what can be done, and, no less important, until they have done for us what can be done for us…Stability says that we will stay with the humdrum if only to condition our souls to cope with the unfleeable in life…It is not easy to continue the hard work of being here when everything around us says go there where it will be easier…it would be so much simpler just to quit. But the question becomes, what will happen to me as a person…if I don’t persist, if I don’t see this through?…In the first place, I will certainly fail to learn a great deal about myself…[and] in the second place, I will lose the opportunity to grow.” ~ Joan Chittister, OSB

Stability is really more about a place than a state of life, but it fits when I am tempted to quit (or if you are) when I am fairly certain that I am where I need to be, doing what I feel called to do. You may still get some reruns from me for a time.

Be my rock, be my rock of refuge, of courage and strength for my journey.
Heal me Lord. Heal me by your Spirit, my every need and want.
For it is You LORD, You the wounded healer, 
who makes my heart sing and my feet dance for joy.