Fruit Among Thorns and the Colors of Souls

God who fills all this day,

With truth and grace and beauty.

And everywhere I look,

I see it.

 

You are God,

And You are glorious.

Absolutely breathtakingly glorious.

 

I peel back the layers of this life,

And I see You in them all,

And You are glorious.

 

In human souls around me,

I see You splashed in brilliant colors. 

Shades and hues,

Of passion,

And problem-solving,

And caring,

And creativity,

And wit.

 

All of it,

Beautifully blended,

Into this glorious harmony.

And I see You.

The Master artist,

I see You. 

 

Human souls,

With all their energies and passions,

Bent low to the earth,

And digging deep,

And for all they’re worth.

Bringing order and beauty,

Out of chaos,

And the raw materials,

Of potential. 

 

The way one eye sees patterns,

In so much strewn randomness,

And bends low to the plow,

And digs fingers deep into the earth,

And brings forth a row of growth,

Up from the soil,

That I would never,

Have ever thought,

Nor known how,

To cultivate.

 

And each,

In his own plot of land,

Sees and cultivates,

Something unique.

 

And the world,

Takes on a shape,

As the hands and the fingers,

Dig and weed,

And arrange,

And work.

 

And the souls sing along,

As they dig in the dirt,

And I can almost see,

Their colors,

Bursting out like so many northern lights,

Across the sky.

 

Passions paint the world,

And I see beauty in the painting.

Patterns emerge,

Neat and tidy,

And complex and intricate,

And I see depth and nuance and meaning,

In the human existence. 

 

And it’s true,

That the life’s work,

And the plots of land,

Are riddled,

With thorns and thistles.

 

And they frustrate,

And they stifle,

And they wound us,

And we bleed.

 

And it seems,

We will never,

Realize the full potential,

Of our dreams,

For the thorns and thistles,

That mar the land. 

 

Yet amid it all,

The fruit grows.

 

And we bleed our sweat,

And our tears,

Into the ground.

And though the thorns prick us,

And beat us back,

And seem to thwart us,

Yet the fruit grows.

 

And we take it in our hands,

And we eat it. 

 

O, what might have been,

If not for the weeds!

O, what we might have cultivated,

If not for the so much broken!

 

Yet one day,

There will be no more weeds.

And what we plant,

Will grow.

And all the potential of our hearts,

Will be realized,

One day.

 

One day,

There will be no more thorns.

No more weeds.

No more broken limits,

On unbroken potential.

 

One day creation will be loosed,

From its bondage to decay,

And all the good plans of our hearts,

Will succeed,

In fullness. 

 

O, the good works we will do,

In those days!

I can hardly stand,

The wait.

 

And yet,

Even here,

In this broken world,

Among the thorns,

There is grace.

Redemption.

Fruit still grows.

 

And we sweat into the cursed earth,

And fruit still grows.

And there is still beauty,

And color,

And life,

That springs up.

 

And there is redemption,

Even more than this.

For no labor that we do unto You,

Is ever wasted.

 

And even if we pour our sweat,

Into the ground,

And nothing grows here,

Yet the travail,

And the tears,

Are not in vain,

In You.

 

But they are producing fruit,

Deep inside our souls.

And with each new dig,

And each determined stroke,

The garden in the heavelies,

Changes,

And bears good fruit.

 

And so even what seems,

Like wasted labor here,

Is captured up,

And caught,

By Your redemption.

 

And You catch the falling tears,

And the seeds that fall through the cracks,

And You collect them in Your hands,

And bring forth crops,

We can scarcely imagine.

 

And there will be a harvest one day.

And I wonder,

If we will wonder,

Where all the fruit came from.

 

I wonder,

If we have any idea,

What the garden of our souls,

Looks like,

To Your eyes.

 

I wonder if we know,

That none of our labor,

Or our struggles,

Or tears,

Or prayers to You,

Have been wasted.

 

I wonder if we know,

Just what You have been up to,

As our hands have moved,

And our hearts have burned,

And our souls have splashed vibrant colors,

Of passion and dream,

Everywhere.

 

We know the tears we’ve poured out,

And we know the passions we’ve poured in,

And we know the deep cries our souls have uttered,

In Your ears.

 

We know the hours we’ve spent,

With the soul down on its knees,

Praying,

Digging,

Breaking open,

And being tilled.

 

We’ve felt the tilling,

And we’ve felt the planting,

And we’ve felt the growing,

But we look with our eyes,

And we see,

Not the giant crop we feel ought to have grown,

But only this tiny seedling.

So much smaller,

Than what we feel,

Has grown inside.

 

And we look at the plot of our lives,

And it seems so worthless,

And small.

Tiny sprouts,

And brittle soil.

Dwarfed crops,

And shriveled fruit.

 

And it seems like our lives,

And our efforts,

And our souls,

Are going nowhere fast.

And we feel like a giant effort,

And a giant passion,

And a giant soul,

 

Yet we see only,

Dwarfed and shriveled crops.

And we’re not sure whether its our eyes,

Our our souls,

That are lying to us.

 

But surely one of them is.

 

Either that,

Or we’re looking at life,

Reflected in some sort,

Of fun house mirror.

For nothing seems to be,

As it seems to be.

 

But creation is broken,

And as much as it wants to play fair,

It can’t.

 

It groans under the weight,

Of its brokenness,

As much as we,

Groan under ours.

 

We mourn,

The righteousness we sold.

Creation mourns,

The innocence,

We stole from it.

 

And now that which was created,

To bless its Creator,

Is subjugated by fallen mankind,

And used as tools and weapons,

Against the very One,

Who made it.

 

O, how creation must weep,

At this!

And if creation could feel anger,

And rage,

Surely it would feel these,

Toward us,

Who abuse it so.

 

Yet could creation delight,

I think it would sing a merry song,

Over us,

Who kneel in the dirt,

And plant beauty,

And life,

And grow up the beautiful glory,

Of our wonderful Maker.

 

I think creation would surely delight,

To be used and worked,

To bring up and become,

Beauty,

For the glory and praise,

Of its Creator.

 

And so I think,

Creation smiles upon us,

In our holy labor.

 

And I think it groans with us,

And it pushes hard with us,

And we labor together,

In these pains of childbirth.

Pushing and pushing,

The fullness of the life,

Of the Most High,

Out of us,

And into birth.

 

And one day,

There will be a harvest,

Of our souls.

And all the good and holy,

That we taste now,

Are just the promise,

Of more to come.

 

The firstfruits.

The tithe from God,

To us.

The promise of more,

So much more,

Growing in our souls,

And waiting for the harvest time.

 

And one day,

Creation will be loosed from her bondage,

When the souls of men,

Are loosed from their decay.

 

And we will likewise rejoice together,

At the fullness of Your glory,

And the splendor of Your work,

Now fully seen,

And realized.

 

And on that day,

You will take Your sickle,

And reap Your harvest,

And bring in such fruit,

We had never known.

 

And life will never be the same,

From that moment,

On.

 

And all the firstfruits,

We tasted,

And thrilled at,

Will be child’s play,

Compared to what we now see,

And taste,

In fullness.

 

Son of God,

I can hardly wait.

 

Yet I will delight,

And rejoice in,

And make much of,

Your glory and grace,

And truth and beauty,

Peeking up through the ground,

Even in the face,

Of all the thorns and thistles here.

 

I will rejoice in the growth You give,

And the beauty You cultivate,

And the way You move,

In,

And through,

Human souls.

 

For You do the most beautiful work,

Of all.

 

And all the truth and beauty,

I see poking up through the surface,

All around me in these souls,

Are a testament,

To the depth and wisdom,

And majesty and splendor,

And vibrancy and brilliance,

Of You.

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