Sara Klein: Lessons from the Field
Bless me oh God, for I am a compost heap.
Ok, so maybe I'm not only a compost pile. My created self, has many good things, good portions that have been used and are being used in this life and by God's grace, for His glory.
However, there are parts of me, like my compost pile here on the farm, that I'd like to be placed in a special distant place, as far from the "house" as possible. Ya know, so that the "good" and the "bad" don't touch. These parts of me that I consider "compost" are my rotting, decomposing pile of discarded hopes, unused talents, trash-like thoughts, words, and sins...mixed together with the dirt of hard things and harder memories, regrets, all mingled with the burden of relationships that are broken or dead, and thoroughly laced with discontent and deep sorrow.
Yet, this compost pile of my soul, is not like my real life compost pile at the end of my garden, because it is not separate. These things are co-mingled with all the gifts and blessings of my life. I am one vessel. One creature. But there is something really encouraging and surprising about compost, because it is a wonderful picture of the gospel. Somehow, this refuse, becomes a place of death and resurrection, transformation, fertility and new life.
A few weeks ago, my husband came in from doing farm chores and said, "Sara! I think there are pumpkins growing in the compost!" That's impossible, I thought, how could pumpkins grow there? Turns out, he was right. I had completely forgotten about the pumpkin seeds I dried last fall and stored. This summer, sorting through my seeds, I found a batch of moldy ones and threw them into the compost thinking they were ruined.
But I was wrong. Ephesians 2 style (not so accidental) Accidental Pumpkins
But God,being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
A handful of moldy seeds, a failed experiment, gains new and unexpected life, this mistake is redeemed in an amazing way. One small decorative pumpkin, amidst the trash of our farm, turns into a mounding jungle of squash leaves, flowers and then; begins to bear fruit.
So, my lesson from the field, and my encouragement to you today, is to look for the compost blessings. All the things that I consider my fault lines, the cracks in my jar of clay soul, all the things I consider trash and the parts of me that I have deemed waste, refuse, unusable, un-redeemable, I now realize could be the fodder for growth and for blessing. The places in my soul that I considered barren, actually have seen great change and fruit! Perhaps today, you could search your life for these areas and check for not so accidental, accidental fruit.
My kinsman redeemer-
In all the days of my life,
I will never find the limits of your goodness and mercy.
I will never mine the depths of your kindness and grace.
I will never be able to understand all your ways.
Why, Oh God, would you redeem a sinner like me?
Thank you, that you have forgiven me and raised me from the dead.
Thank you for continuing to work in me, continuing to tranform me and sanctify me.
Thank you for the gift of your Holy word that allows me to know you better,
and as I spend time in it, I thank you that it gains in beauty and wonder,
and thank you, that as a meal, it grows in satisfaction as I know it better.
Thank you Holy Spirit, for your comfort and conviction, may I grow in obeying your prompting.
And thank you Father, for your Son and your salvation, that a wretched sinner like me, a lady more compost pile than beautiful garden, has a chance to bear fruit for your glory.