Wednesday, July 27, 2016
It is what it is. A bowl of bells a bit shriveled and discolored, but, hey, you should'a seen the other guys! They make these look like champions.
I take their picture-validate them-while thinking that it's nice to be validated especially when imperfections are obvious even after being photo-shopped.
Yeah, I photo-shopped this motley bunch. I brought out their colors, their best features, as I said a little prayer of gratefulness to the One who does the same for me, "Thank You for planting me in You, for picking the fruit I bear, and making it beautiful."
That's all; because isn't it nice to be given a position-a place to grow-and then to have the fruit you bear picked? Even when it's not perfect?
It is. And I'm grateful that the fruit in my life isn't under God's scrutiny as if He's going to toss it away because it's discolored, or small, or even a little saggy.
I'm grateful He remembers than inside is His seed.
His seed is carried inside the fruit I bear as a branch grafted into Him and, His seed is what counts.
I don't know, but maybe when the fruit I bear is rejected by others because it doesn't look like what it's "supposed" to look like-maybe that's when I'm most grateful that I don't carry the burden of giving myself grace but that I may bear forth the glory of receiving the grace God gives.
Seems to me that nothing validates like His grace.
Seems His grace, that part of God which says, "I will do it" because whatever it is, it's more than I can do, is what redeems the unsightly mess of fruit I bear.
I bear patience, and often it's a little shriveled up.
I bear joy and most of the time it looks like one of those misfired 4th of July fireworks that fizzle.
None of it measures up, but isn't that the point? Isn't that what grace is for? Doesn't God alone give grace, to be received by Him alone?
I think so.
I know I can't begin to give myself God's grace, so I receive it.
He gives it and His grace validates that He is the vine, His is the seed, and if He picks my fruit and opens it and scoops the seeds right out from my inner-self and then plants them-
"Ah, my Lord and my God! Your validation is everything all alive and green and growing right within me!"
I take a picture of the basil growing beside the bell peppers. It's a good year for basil. I snip it, lay it over the bell peppers in the blue ceramic colander and move over to the chives. I bring a fragrant bouquet of what grace smells like to me right now and place it on cutting board.
"Thank You for Your grace." His fragrant grace validates the fruit I bear.
I open the bell peppers and the seeds promise more grace.
Any other grace isn't enough. Only grace so green alive-full-that it's fragrance spills all over me when I brush against it.
This is the grace offered, and the only reason I can think of is because my loving God knows I need it and that I can never give enough of it to myself. I know because I've tried to give myself grace but it's always a little weak, lacks fragrance, and if I'm honest I'd say that the best of it lasts about as long as basil snipped from the plant till what I'd liked to have claimed as a grace I gave to myself begins to wilt into more of a pardon.
Grace doesn't wilt.
Grace remains fragrant, and it's got the fragrance of freedom all over it.
I bend over the cutting board, scoop up a handful of basil and chives, and inhale the kind of spice that smells like freedom, blown in on Spirit wind for the likes of the born-again.
I read about that this morning. "The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit" (John 3:8).
Yeah, that's it.
That's the spice I hunger for.
The fragrance of freedom blows on Spirit wind.
It's grace, the freedom to move with the Spirit.
written by: Carolyn-Elizabeth Roehrig