I came across this Anne Lamott quote the other day:
“Yet time, showing up, turn most messes to compost, and something surprising may begin to grow . . .”
How true! My messes (I think of them as my personal peach pits and potato peels) may come from a variety of places — unresolved relationship issues between loved ones; a life-altering disease, progressive and scary, small things, big things, everything in between that I can’t fix . . . The list goes on. Yet as time passes and the messes begin to compost — and God wraps his arms around me, promising to teach me patience, and I ask him for wisdom and grace and acceptance — something surprising happens. The “pits and peels” I’ve tossed into the compost heap seem to be doing okay without my fretting and worrying over them. They’re important (how can they not be?), but they no longer loom large enough to break my back. Or my heart. Or both. At the very least, I can be rational as I try to deal with them.
Time helps. Showing up is a must. But as those messes begin to compost, they also create the stuff of new growth. What is that growth composed of? Faith. Trust. Peace. Joy. Patience. A knowledge that God is at work in the whole of my life, even when I feel powerless to act — perhaps the most important element of growth.
I love this quote by Nathaniel Hawthorne about his garden: “I used to visit and revisit it a dozen times a day, and stand in deep contemplation over my vegetable progeny with a love that nobody could hare or conceive of who had never taken part in the process of creation. To observe a hill of beans thrusting aside the soil, or rows of early peas just peeping forth sufficiently to trace a line of delicate green.”
Vegetable progeny, I love it! And the bewitching sight of a hill of beans thrusting aside the soil? One of life’s little miracles, to be sure. But what about watching God at work in the garden of your own life after a wonderfully enriching dousing of compost? Now, that’s no small miracle!