Personal Ramblings

Leon’s Lawn

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Photo credit: Garden Solutions, Flickr

It was the drought of 1999

Leon wasn’t much of a gardener. Plastic flowers thrust into the soil were proof. But his lawn was his pride. He mowed that lawn once a week, every Thursday at 6 pm, and watered it every day. It was the best lawn  in the neighborhood.

Then came the mandatory water restrictions. No one was allowed to water their gardens. Neighbors wondered what Leon would do.

Miss Sally, the diplomatic, empathetic member on the Home Owner’s Association board was delegated to visit Leon to ensure he did not violate the restriction.

“What are you going to do, Leon?” Miss Sally asked with genuine concern.

“I’m going to pray,” Leon said

“That’s good, but you may want to consider mowing your lawn less frequently to keep it from burning from all the sun and not enough water,” Miss Sally gently suggested.

“Can’t do that,” Leon responded, “Been mowing my lawn every Thursday, Spring and Summer, since I moved here 40 years ago.”

Thursday came. 6 p.m. There were many eyes peering out the window. Leon’s garage door opened, and out he came pushing his mower. He stopped, looked heavenwards into the blistering sun, and raised his arms up high. After praying, Leon proceeded to mow.

Every week, it was the same. Every Thursday Leon prayed, then he mowed—but he never watered his lawn.

The neighbors watched and talked about it.

And throughout that drought of 1999 Leon’s lawn stayed green.
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Feature image by Simone Dalmeri on Unsplash

Spiritual Musings

prayer closet

But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father. Matthew. 6:6

I love the fact that I can pray anytime, anywhere. I appreciate a God who doesn’t expect me to get down on my knees just at sundown or sunup and face Southwest or wherever. I love that I can pray with my eyes open in the middle of a basketball game, in the midst of all the cheering.

Yet, when I saw Ellen White’s prayer closet (Sunnyside, Australia), I was goosebumped in awe: In her very own house, where she could shut any door for peace and quiet, she converted a small walk-in closet that could hold nothing but her armchair into what she called her prayer closet.

I picture her walking into that claustrophobic space with just her Bible in her hands, turning around in the little confined space to shut the door behind her. I see her spending an hour or more totally and completely alone with God. The symbolism and ritual represented in that picture of one closet with a lone chair and a woman so completely focused  said to me: All the chitchat I have with God throughout my busy day should not, must not exempt me from intimate, one-on-one time alone with Him.

Spiritual Musings

a friend’s reassurance

 

I lift up my eyes to the hills—where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. Psalm 121: 1, 2

Guy #1 is in one of life’s harsh predicaments. Feeling desperate, he’s waiting for God to fix things. Thus begins Psalm 121.

But Guy #1 doesn’t get beyond two verses. Guy #2 takes over for the rest of the psalm. We don’t know who he is. And who he is really doesn’t matter; it’s his role in this psalm that should beckon our attention. He is there to reassure Guy #1 of the omnipresence and the grace of God. He speaks of God walking with us to keep us company through our misery, of God watching over us night and day, of God protecting us no matter what we are up to.

Nothing he says is new or profound. It is a truth that Guy #1 knows and has already stated very clearly (“My help comes from the Lord.”) So what Guy #2 says doesn’t really matter very much either.

What matters is that he is there for his friend. He is a true friend–the kind that sticks around when you are awful company; the kind that doesn’t fuel your misery, but instead gently keeps you focused on the solution to the problem.

 

Spiritual Musings

a praying mother

I Samuel 2:1 And Hannah prayed
I began that particularly difficult year with a brand new black alligator skin Bible. My focus that year was to read God’s word while praying for one of  my children in particular.
At the beginning, at the end, and during each day I read between the lines of the Bible, looking for words that would be especially meaningful and applicable to my child. Like Hannah, I vowed to never cease for even a day.
At the end of the year, there were tear blotches on the pages here and there, the alligator leather was worn and falling apart. The Bible looked 20 years old. At the end of the year the pay off was a child stronger in the Lord despite the difficult year.
Hannah prayed for Samuel even before he was born; and continued to pray for him for as long as she lived. To pray is the primary ministry of every parent.