Cultivating Life

- Jen Wise

How is it that after spending a day weeding and raking and bagging and clipping your body feels so sore, but your soul feels so good?

Even in our little postage-stamp yard there is a lot of work to do. Summer was full of its own upkeep. Now, before winter hits we’re busy trimming back hostas, clearing the yard and overhauling our garden. 

This time spent cultivating our little piece of earth reminds me of humanity’s call to care for God’s creation. It’s true that my little yard is a lowly snippet of the vastness and majesty of God’s creation. Still, I feel a sort of invigorating purpose in what I’m doing - knowing that in a small way I'm joining in the cultivation of life.

We pull weeds to make room for healthy growth and trim back the unnecessary.

We remove limbs and branches so the most integral parts receive the nourishment and strength they need to fulfill their purpose.

We rake up the layers of dead, dried up leaves to prepare our grass for winter – hoping that when this cold, dark season passes new life will spring forth.

I cannot spend any time on my yard without a keen awareness that God is doing all of these things in me as well. He is always at work – pruning, strengthening, shaping and preparing us for new seasons. It’s impossible for me to not dwell on this as I go about my work. It’s impossible for my heart to not be reminded of his love, desire and purpose for me.

When I’m putting away the rakes, hauling bags of leaves and knocking the dirt off my boots I have a deep feeling of satisfaction. It’s more than enjoying the better view from our windows – it’s more than getting to cross something off my to-do list. It’s crisp air. It’s time spent working toward a brighter earth. It’s dwelling in the presence of a father whose love always pulls the weeds, brings forth the best and removes the dried up layers so new life can spring forth.

*You can see more full-sized pictures from this post by following this link...