08 May 2008

A Lake, A Leaf, And Me


There is a lake that I often visit. It's serenity and quiet draw me and I find it easier, more natural to open my heart to my Lord there. There is something about the water, the trees, the birds and even the funny, little croaking toads, that make me feel more "at home." Thoughts, tears, silence...whatever is needed pours out from me as I call upon the name of nature's Creator. And He always answers. In different ways. Often here, at the lake.

As I sit at the water's edge, trees waves their branches as if to greet the wind. The water sparkles as the wind passes over it, now here, then there, across the lake it goes. From time to time, a leaf, freed by the breeze's touch, falls, floating to the pool below.

In times long past, when my spirits were low, burdened by circumstances beyond my power to change, and shackled by my own resentments and pride, I thought of my hopes being the leaf. In my distorted and dramatic perspective, I bewailed how they, and I, had been untimely plucked from my safe and comfortable place in my wonderful tree. Sent headlong into a swirling wind, only to desperately fall rapidly to a watery death below. Quickly to drown and decay on the lake's floor. Gone. But who misses one leaf gone from a tree? Who even notices?

Recently, however, I saw just such a leaf fall. And I watched it instead of quickly retreating into my own internal dramas. It fell gently, slowly. Carefully, as if it were set down by invisible hands. And then, to my surprise, it alighted upon the water's surface, to float carefree, sailing from sunshine, to shadow, to sunshine again...taken far beyond its tree home upon the waters of the lake.

And the words became clear.

"Will you dare to let go, my precious one...and free fall, to be gently caught and carried by My Spirit, even when it appears that you are being driven towards what surely seems like imminent death (and is--death to self, death to the past) and trust that My truth and grace provide the surface tension to keep you afloat? Indeed, to carry you to places and experiences far beyond the seeming "safety" of where you have been? To go on the voyage that you could only imagine you saw possible from where you were stuck before?

"My child, will you let go, let it all go, and fall...upon Me?"

And so, I took a baby step of faith. And in a surprisingly small amount of time, I have seen changes. In me. And not only in me, but in my wonderful husband as well. Such little acts of kindness and love that I chose to bestow. Choosing smiles, looking into his eyes, asking questions about what burdens his mind, cooking his favorite dish, bringing chocolate milk as a treat when I saw the discouragement in his eyes. (I had not noticed it so much before...It's hard to see when you're not looking, really looking.) I did it, for You, Lord, and in a way, for me. But not just to change him. But to affirm that I need You to change me. And now, he has, without me asking, asked me how things are going for me. He came to an important meeting, during the work day, rather than just leave it to me alone. He comes to bed when I retire and stays as I drift into sleep, even though he will need to get back up and work until the day is literally spent. He has a surprise planned for me for my birthday, well in advance. These are...well, miracles! My eyes have been opened and I smile and do more and more from joy within. How different my life looks to me. These are the voyages of a tiny leaf...who let go.

Let me affirm and encourage you, dear friend. Cast yourself upon the Lord of Life, risk your all upon His Word, and He will raise you from death to life. He is in the resurrection business. Raising dead marriages, dead self-worth, dead relationships, dead hope...into most glorious life. Here and now, not just in Heaven. Resurrection all over.

Just ask a grace-full little leaf like me.

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