(This poem and prayer stemmed from the pastoral pain of seeing people waver in their journey with Christ.)
I feel like a farmer smeared with dirt, standing over the clumpy soil of his precious garden.
There are seven hundred varieties of colors within this garden. There are bold yellow squash, ugly brown stems, vibrant green leaves, new pink flower buds, and of course plum red tomatoes.
Some of the varieties are new to the garden, just trying to push their way through the clods of dirt for the first time. Others are veterans of decades. Trees that try to give shade to the new sprouts.
Some are Asian. Some are Scandinavian. Some are white. Some are black. Some are just trying to figure out how to pollinate, and with whom. But for all, summer’s hot.
And in this broadcasted world, there is a gray haze in the air and sting in the nostrils.
The swirl of gray soup rises at the edges of my garden. Its intent is to eat my colors alive. It forces in like mad men. It festers down like a housewife. Its inclusion burns every species. Its orientation wants the same color for every plant. Dead gray.
And with so many vulnerable seeds smoked at once, my tears splash on the brown soil. A smallish, involuntary attempt at sanity.
But madness is the order of the day.
And this pervasive burning will only stop with the flames of a firebreak. We must start our own fire, in the garden.
And it must consume us.
It must burn us down to the roots and clear the beds for new seeds. Whatever seeds the farmer sees fit to plant.
So I spark the match, and I get to work.
Heavenly Father, we are desperate for you in our world today. We have so many diversions that snatch us so quickly from Your presence. And then they hold us away from you until we think like the world thinks, and act like the world acts. Have mercy on us! Forgive us for our syncretism. We are discipled by our television. We worship our hobbies, our jobs and our image. We have strayed like lost sheep. We have been ignited by the passions of our culture. And it leaves us smoldering and burned.
Ignite us with the passion of Your Holy Spirit instead. Plant us by the ancient practices of devotion. Confirm Your love for us with satisfaction in Your presence. And grant us the grace to remain there, until we have caught Your bright, heated affection. And send us into the lives of our burned out friends. Let us be a contagious spark that draws others away from the cooling flames of life as we know it, and into a furnace of love that won’t go out.
We need you King Jesus. Come and spark us today. We have no fire apart from You. Let us burn hotter with Your love today, and may it ignite the spreading of Your kingdom in a manner that no smoldering embers could withstand. Thank You God. Amen.
Author: Cameron Lemons
Reflections from the pastor