January 1, 2017

Creative Writing

The Sower went out to sow. Or rather, the Father went out to plant.

His intention for this particular plot of earth was a tree. He chose carefully and sent his spade deep into the ground. He lifted over layers of firm, packed heart in the quest to prepare a place for roots of the tender sapling to spread themselves.

The tree that would grow here had already grown tall in His heart. He already saw it, already envisioned its wide strong branches of fruit and seed for many. He was already fully committed to the tender care it would require in its infancy. He went out to plant a tree, already having counted its cost.

Again and again he shoveled deeper, through the rich layers of topsoil, until, clunk. Again, clunk. He muscled upon the blade, with more resolve: Clunk.

Puzzled, he bent down and searched the dark hole with his fingers. He discovered a rough, stubborn root—the remains of an old thing, no longer visible to the eye but firmly anchored, just the same. He never considered changing his mind, never considered moving his intention. Instead, he exercised his command over it and decided it was the root, not His design, that must be moved.

He gave himself upon it, first exploring with handfuls at a time to see how far it stretched, how pervasive it was. It took time and far, far more digging. Far, far more patience. It took longer, even seasons longer, than he hoped. Yet He never wavered. He starved that old root of air and of food, allowing it to be abused. Rainfall soaked away its footing. The hole became bigger and oddly-shaped as he searched out its end.

And then, all at once, it yielded. It gave way in his hands and he lifted it up into the daylight, the victor. It was bulky and ugly, full of thick shoots and evidence of its former strength. It was an odd trophy, more foe than worthy adversary.

And then, He turned His full attention again to the purpose in His heart for this special place, so special that he invested himself without reserve to its destiny.

The Sower went out to sow. The Father bent down to plant.

Stripped to his waist with dirt caked on his skin, he bent and moved the earth. He could have issued one single word. He could have merely breathed. This is the hero shot, the image of fatherhood’s legacy: the One of its origin, choosing the tender process of loving a son over the simplicity of an issued command. Relishing the hard work, the opportunity of demonstrating Who He Is. He filled the gaping dark hole with water and repacked it with good soil. He took the sapling, a strong shoot of its father, and prepared its roots to thrive, to permeate where death had just so recently lost its reign.

This was no job for tools of brute force or command. This was the task of tenderness, the patient ministry of affection. The same unmovable stubbornness that dealt the old root its starvation now moved as though the wind itself contained Him. Hand by handful of new earth. Generous supplies of water. Confidence that the soil was good. The breath of life, carefully directed as though it were coaxing up the embers.

He functioned in the memory that time does not contain Him, with no concern for the resources this vision required. He thrived on the pulse of redemption, a heartbeat so fierce within Him that He would spend everything upon it. Even the old stubborn root surrendered to Him. He Who Is Roots had persisted until it was so.

He heaved, and the new roots sank deep. All in a moment, every trace of death was swallowed up in life. There it stood, the monument of Himself, the testimony: good soil, reborn.

You, you are my first. You are my last.
You are my future and my past.

I am the heart, the soil, the Reborn One. The root is gone, dissolved by the relentless commitment of my Father. The tree stands here in me, and as the roots spread within, everything other cell of me is permeated with restored DNA.

On days like today, I weep. The violent tenderness of this Life has undone me entirely, yet again. I bought in that it was real, that this consuming affection—this thickness inside my spirit—is not merely for the weak, but is the honest evidence of Strength Himself. That it is for me, that it is mine, that I can reveal my longing of it.

And in that moment, a hidden gnarly root gave way and my Father, the one who labored for my freedom, planted something new. I am relishing how it feels to allow all these new, beautiful roots in. I am acutely aware that a splinter, long acclimated, too long permitted, is gone.

It’s gone. It’s my spirit equivalent to the stone being rolled away.

I am Daughter. Son. The vibrant evidence of my Father who loves me. The seed, rooted. The heart-bearer, more than ever. I am home.