(70) close to the ground

Humility is the real Christian virtue. It means staying close to the ground (humus), to people, to everyday life, to what is happening with all its down-to-earthiness. It is the virtue that opens our eyes for the presence of God on the earth and allows us to live grateful lives. (Henri Nouwen)

In certain standing yoga poses, I’ve often heard instructors say to “ground down through all four corners of your feet.” And so I wiggle my toes and bring awareness to the outline of my feet, planted firmly into the mat, remaining steady, relaxed, balanced. I need this rootedness in regular old life too.

This kind of deep, close-to-the-ground rootedness reminds me of Jesus saying, “Remain in me.” Stay with me, steady now, plant yourself here.

Sometimes, humility is admitting that I have no clue what I am about, what I’m doing here or what might be the best next step. And sometimes it is really deep crying when there is no “best thing,” just a lot of dreams to let go of, and hoping that the letting go will leave space for Jesus to be bigger.

When I am closer to the ground, more rooted in this moment, then I am also closer to God’s heart, to the remaining, abiding, that I so greatly desire. So that I can love without hesitation or reservation, and let go more quickly and embrace more fully.

I hope that God will find me with my hands deep in the dirt, smelling of sweat and fuzzy tomatoes. I hope He will find me with all four corners of my feet planted into the earth and my heart planted in the present moment, willing to be all there. And I hope I will find myself rooted in His heart.


(12) what is saving your life right now?

(In response to the question posted by Sarah Bessey and her synchroblog)

This writing is saving my life right now. When I don’t allow myself to write, to express, to process outside of my body, I will reach an inevitable boiling point and boil over. Or explode. And it isn’t pleasant, nor is it pretty. Kind of gives a new meaning to the phrase, “a watched pot never boils.” If my heart is the pot, giving attention, time, “watching it,” certainly seems to help prevent the boiling. I know that isn’t what the phrase was meant to express, but it makes sense to me, today.

Summer fruit is saving my life right now. Because I’m so rushed and hurried through these days, feeling pursued by endless to-do lists, the steady supply of plump, rosy, succulent fruit that summer brings the satisfaction of the perfect meal in just a small delicious bowl-full. Or a few bowls full. I’m less worried about food yesterday and today, less obsessed with the perfect supper, when there are strawberries, blueberries, cherries, raspberries, peaches, at hand.

The knobby tips of carrots just rounded above the soil, a million nasturtium blossoms crawling everywhere, the damp fuzzy smell of tomato plants, bunches of chamomile and lavender, towering sunflower, bright sunset-colored dahlia blooms, a multitude of roses on the bush that looked like it was dying… Crawling on my knees in the dirt, dislodging brash weeds, trimming back old growth, catching earthworms at work, at play. The garden is saving my life right now. I feel excited, awestruck, larger-than-life, having participated in the sacredness of ongoing creation and recreation of the world. I planted seeds and all this burst forth!

Today is the day of salvation (2 Cor. 6:2)

(1) for god’s sake, write

Or should that be “write, for God’s sake.” And should God be capitalized? Will someone be offended if it is not? Am I too ridiculous, trying to write on this blog…again. Am I just doing it because “everyone is doing it?”

For now, my goal is to simply write. Not gain followers, not become famous, not compete with anyone, certainly not to impress anyone. Just to write. Yes, some of those other less attractive motives are also lurking here, in my unwieldly heart. I am attempting to deny them satisfaction or disappointment by keeping this endeavor a somewhat-private one for now.

i would write, but i have nothing to say.

Intriguing then that you talk so much, my dear. What did you see today?

Bubbles in this Portuguese wine catch that evening sunlight. So do the dirty streaks on the window glass, just in case the to-do list was shrinking too much. Zack outside moving the sprinkler, intent that every blade and leaf is thoroughly watered. I pulled weeds, many of them, returning the flower beds to a rather pristine state. The fuschia-colored peony did not reply when I commented on her foliage and the soil.