Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Dirty, Crooked Truths About Me

  I am a screw up. 

Sometimes it just needs to be said.

For me, it just feels good to admit the obvious. Go ahead and say it out loud if you want: I am a screw up.

Well of course, unless you aren't. And in that case, you should stop reading now. But for my fellow drop-the-ball, wait, what-ball? Hold-the -phone, I-am-playing-ball?! friends: Guess what? It's okay.

I met with a couple of my friends last week over wine and Chia seed muffins (go Seattle!) and we were talking about this basic idea: of being a saved screw up. And one of my friends, nodded in understanding, "I know. It's like the more you learn about God the more you realize how much you suck."

Okay, okay. So I can already tell that this isn't coming off like a great read. But the idea I am finding freedom in is this: we can make mistakes and move upward. And I have found that the faster we do that moving upward the better; when we run towards God instead of away from him, the likelihood of retreating into that the same muddy hole that we used to think was home, diminishes. Little by little we become further and further away from the same dirt that used to define us.

Speaking of dirt, I have been obsessed lately with gardening. I honestly just want to see dirt under my fingernails and edge and pull weeds and create order in the chaos that is my yard. I think I am going through something. Mainly I'm learning to define my stubbornness for what it is: stubbornness. And I find this is even more true when I garden.

I recently found out that I have Scoliosis. I can't say for sure–because I am not a doctor–but I think that means that I am 80 years old inside. This truth means one thing: I should NOT BE gardening. I am not qualified to garden. It is actually making things worse for me. For my back. For my insurance. For my sleep habits. But more than ever, I want to lift large rocks, rip out moss, unload thousands of pounds of mulch and literally mimic the reality that I feel going on in my heart in my silly little yard. Mainly because someone told me I shouldn't. Alas, the stubbornness.

I desperately want to uproot and replant; which seems to mirror the desire to uproot the screwed up pieces of me that keep trying to re-grow. I keep praying and reading and dying to myself in hopes for some kind of Jesus characteristic to bud in the place of what is always trying to overtake.

Pride for humility.
Anger for understanding.
Selfishness for generosity.
Vanity for contrition.
Apathy for compassion.
Laziness for wisdom.

I want to load all of my screwed up bits into my rusty wheelbarrow and set it on fire alongside the dead rose bush garden I stumbled across today. Brittle thorns and all. 

When I garden I can smell the rain. I can smell things changing. Everyday when I venture out into the dirt there is something new that has grown or died. It is visual proof that something is taking place. An exchange. And because of that, I am falling in love with this whole plant, grow and tend business.

You see, I haven't wanted to write lately. First, because I am not entirely sure I have anything of worth to say. And secondly, because out of all the people in the world, I am the least likely to be a gardener let alone someone who dare attempt a life following in the footsteps of Someone who never sinned.

But these truths don't make me any less a gardener in training or a Christian in training. I may be crooked from my back to my heart, but I am called to the mission of uprooting and replanting and so that's what I plan to do–even if it means I never fully straighten up.

We're in this together,

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