by Sue Duby,
I’ve been pondering. If you ask Chuck, I do that a lot. Maybe wondering how I can squeeze yet another flowering plant in the garden. Or how to create dinner out of what’s left in the “need to go shopping soon” refrigerator. Perhaps hunting for a new walking trail we’ve yet to discover. My mind stays busy – all day, every day!
Today, my thoughts keep looping back to a question. Not related to circumstances in the moment or things looming on the calendar. Just a question that won’t go away. I know the nudge and beckoning when that happens. An invitation by Him to pause, wait, explore a bit deeper and trust He will bring clarity. Look for reminders in the daily. So, the question. . . “What does LOVE look like?”.
Yesterday, 12-year-old grandson, Sam, came over to hang out before his basketball practice. Always a delight and I know the first question to ask… “So… what would you like for dinner?”. Always, the same answer… “Mac and cheese!!”. Not the boring old box kind. But the “we make it together from scratch” kind. It’s our thing. Cooking and experimenting as a team.
Sam never forgets to add his own request. “So, what weird thing can I try this time?”. Chuck’s pickled mushrooms in the frig rated a big “Yuck!”. Then I pulled out a ginger root and we crafted some Ginger Lemonade. Success in the making, but it earned sorry faces from the two of us. Chuck loved it!
With adventures complete, Chuck and Sam headed for the garage en route to the basketball courts. Suddenly, Sam pivoted around and ran over to me. With a spontaneous hug and “I love you, Nana!”, he left to follow Chuck. Not without a second, “Love you Nana!” before disappearing out the door.
I smiled… with a warm heart. Somehow, making cheese sauce, boiling noodles, chopping ginger and squeezing lemons filled Sam… time, attention and care. As he got filled, love spilled over to me.
With the crazy times we’re all navigating, my heart reminds me often that I want to love well in the midst. Be a place of calm in the storm. Listen to other’s stories. Guard my words. Follow His lead in encouraging others. With that, I also realize the key truth… I can’t do any of it without first understanding His love for me… and from that I will be able to love others well. I want my love to be a “spill over” of His love for me… much like Sam’s love spilled over to me.
Psalm 139 so clearly details the kind of “spill over love” He promises us.
1 You have searched me, Lord,
and you know me.
- You have searched me (you’ve checked me all out! I can’t hide anything from You)
- You know me (such freedom in being fully known – every thought, action, secret… all of me!)
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
- You know when I sit & rise (watching, aware of me, never out of Your sight)
- You perceive my thoughts (You understand my thinking… and all my pondering!)
3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
- You understand with clarity all my movements (always watching, your eye is upon me)
- You are familiar with ALL my ways (even things I’m not aware of!)
4 Before a word is on my tongue
you, Lord, know it completely.
5 You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.
- You know all my words before they are spoken (going before me – always)
- You hem me in (picture a child snuggly tucked in bed for the night -safety!)
- You lay Your hand on me (reminding me of Your presence)
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.
7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
- You are everywhere I ever go (there is nowhere I can escape Your love and presence with me)
- Your hand guides me (leading the way, I’m never alone finding next steps)
- Your hand holds me “fast” (not just a loose grip, but totally secure)
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
- You are with me in the darkness (I’m never hidden from You; even when I can’t “see” or “feel” Your presence, You are there)
13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
- You created me… “knit” me in Mother’s womb (Your design, fashioning and creative hand… intentional and purposed)
- Your works are wonderful (that means I am wonderful!)
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
- You watched me develop (again I’ve never been hidden from You)
- You’ve written all my days in Your book (I can relax. You have my life, start to finish!)
Now that is some kind of love! Fills me to the brim and more… when I truly allow the truth to settle deeply in my heart. Enough for plenty to “spill over” to whomever crosses my path. As long as I remember to remember the depth and breadth of His love for me.
May we be joyful “spill over” people… all day, every day… as we continually marvel in His gracious love for each of us.
PS – Sam gave me permission to tell his story ☺
Spirituality of Gardening Online Course invites you to connect your senses and spirit with awe and wonder in the garden.