Seeing the mess

After breakfast this morning I decided I would go outside and start to clean up our yard. We live on Main St.  and inevitably the wind blows wrappers and a plastic cup or two into our yard. We hadn’t seen the trash that had made its home in my bushes over the past couple of months because the snow had done an excellent job of covering it up but with just a few days into spring the melting had begun and I began to see the mess.

I started to rake the flower beds since picking up the trash did little to appease my idea of seeing my yard back to its former glory. The ground is still hard. The leaves sopped together into mush.

The trash, to my surprise had also been things I remember throwing into my own garbage months ago. There were candy wrappers from Halloween. A plastic ball we would throw to Hudson before winter locked us inside. There was a receipt from a trip I had made to the grocery store.

Although the wind, rain and snow had made its way to my yard it had done little to make its mark on the items I found. The writing on the receipt was perfectly clear and the receipt was still whole. The ball didn’t look any different than the last time I saw. The candy rappers weren’t even discolored.

This got me thinking about our own lives; about the things we tuck away or hide under the “snow”. We think, I’ll deal with it later or I’ll hide it so well no one will know it’s there and then one day we look at our yard or heart in this matter and realize it’s a mess.

We come to realize that no amount of covering up, moving on or learning ways to deal with it, has done much to change the things we tried to hide. To our surprise the “things” are still there.

I continued racking and low and behold I found a little group of flowers that had started to sprout. Wow! After all the crazy weather and freezing ground something beautiful had found its way to the top.

I am sure that sprouting, for that little group of flowers, was not without a lot of hard work. They had barely seen the sun. It was most certainly over watered due to the snow and rain. Even in its burst through to the ground it still didn’t see the light because of the dead leaves that had fallen on them.

But there I was! I had moved the dead leaves. The sun was also doing his part. The little flowers had a really good chance of survival. We also have a really good chance of surviving. We have the church, confession, the Eucharist, the scriptures and Great and Holy Lent. The list goes on and on. All of these things lay at our disposal. They are gifts given to us to help clean our hearts; to free us from the things we have covered up for years.

So here they are. They will need my continued attention and help to make it through but they’re important to me so I’m not going to leave them alone.




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