I couldn’t get her out the door fast enough this morning.
It was one of those no I don’t wanna you’re stupid I don’t love you mornings.
One of those mornings when an ugly seed plants itself in her belly. And so abruptly it blooms – sprouting angry, hateful words. They grow from the pit of her and spill from her mouth–one atop another–each limb packing a firm punch right into the heart of me.
And I have to step away. To breathe. That her overgrown vines not strangle me.
I haven’t mastered the pruning yet: to take a pair of garden scissors and patiently clip – gently separating thorn from blossom. Weed from seedling.
Instead I feel like a clumsy herbicide. Like I know no better than to spill gallon after gallon, wilting everything in my path.
My thumb isn’t green. I don’t have the tools.
These are my excuses.
So again I turn my face upward. Full of questions. In search of guidance.
Then I cast my eyes down. With shame. Sorrow.
Please grant me the tools, the patience. Fill my shed with plows strong enough to withstand the cutting and the turning. With shovels so that I may dig deep. Shine away my rusted spots – spots that threaten to give way.
Allow me to fertilize a soil rich with patience. Love. Understanding. Strengthen the clay walls of my pot that they not crack under the pressure of stubborn thorns. Let me be rooted in you O Lord – that the fruit of my labor be nourished through your unending love. By your mercy and grace.
She gets on the bus.
I take a deep breath.
Faithful that through Him I may nourish a bed of roses.
In spite of the thorns.