Monday, May 14, 2012

To the Hedges

On this dreary and cloudy day, I found it hard to escape my Pastor's words he had pulled from scripture on Sunday "go out in the highways and the hedges..." I kept visualizing him deliberately spilling those words before us in attempt to make us clean them up. His breaths drew quick and shallow as he looked at the church, hoping we were all hearing the message.

I have not been in the highways nor the hedges. I took my reluctant body outside to hopefully see what He needed show me. I walked a few paces and stopped. The silence was so loud my own thoughts screamed at me. I began to hear birds I was certain belonged in the rain forest but today, He placed them in my back yard. Their loud chirps and cries were distracting but I pressed onward. One took flight and I could hear its heavy wings flap as water from the branch fell far below.

I looked up high at all of the trees and saw nothing but the ordinary. With every ten paces or so, I'd stop and look around...trying to see. Before long I had walked nearly the entire property line...stopping and starting, watching and waiting. I felt like I still had not seen it all so I started over. I took the same route, circling my yard. I looked at all the same things but never saw the same thing twice. This visit, I had expected something different. I stopped by an apple tree and my eyes lifted in the same direction as they had just minutes before. Instead of seeing branches bearing nothing more than leaves, my eyes lowered where I caught a glimpse of the fruit. At eye level there were several small apples. I was looking so hard last time I couldn't see them.

I took a few more steps where I found a ladybug. I smiled because I knew right away this was meant for only me. Such a small gesture that meant the world to me, and He thought enough of me to place the tiny creature on the old log for me to see and a tear came to my eye.

I made several more rounds just walking and looking at all sorts of gifts He was sending my way. I ended up walking that same path about five times and wondered how many times I've wasted opportunities thinking I'll see nothing but ordinary.

I could feel the cool mist of a light rain falling on my bare arms. For a moment I thought about going inside...but sat down on a rock instead. I reached my hand over and felt the damp rug of bright green moss that was my only company for the moment. I looked to my right where the end of our property remained marked by string since the sale of the adjoining field. I saw a four wheeler path leading right through the middle where my child spent years riding up and down that field. It had all but grown up now, but you could still see his path. Tears poured harder than the rain that fell as I accepted the fact, we were not to travel that path again. A bittersweet realization that we were creating new ones, in other directions...and that was good.

Finally satisfied that I had seen what He needed to show me, I finished my walk at the end of the drive where one of our flowering hedges appeared to be stripped from the rain showers we've had. It was no longer pleasing to the eye but as I approached it, I could smell the sweet flowers. All around the base of the hedge, a blanket of rose colored petals covered the ground. I inhaled deeply as I knew that one day the sweet aroma would also fade, just as the petals had.

I quickly realized that He had brought me to the hedges. I pray that I find that same determination I had when seeking something other than ordinary, to work in the hedges, the highways, wherever He leads me...leaving one path behind to show where I've been and creating a new one, for hopefully my children to follow.

I am very Blessed.

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