Create in me a pure heart.
“I got nothin’ God,” I said, feeling rather guilty as I stared out the window at the clouds building up on the horizon.
“What do you mean?” God asked softly.
“I didn’t know what to write about today,” I confessed.
“Oh, that,” God replied. “I knew you were feeling a bit stuck.”
“I thought I’d write about the beautiful covey of quail in the garden. Then I thought I’d write about the sunlight that painted everything pink and gold. Then the feral kittens showed up at my kitchen door and I thought about how precious they are. But I wasn’t able to turn any of my thoughts into a soul reminder,
“That’s quite alright, Sparrow,” God said. “I know your heart was in the right place.”
“It’s always looking for ways to share your love. That’s really what all of my soul reminders are about—how much you love us.
“I know. And I do love you all, so very, very, much. It’s why I created everything for you to enjoy,” God said.
A gust of wind from the coming storm rattled the windows of the cottage. Off in the distance, thunder rolled across the mountain tops. “I’m sure I’ll know what to write tomorrow,” I said as I curled up on my chaise lounge, ready to enjoy the wild weather.
“I know you will,” God said and sat down beside. I rested my head on His shoulders as the clouds broke open and the rain came down, pattering on the roof.
Wonderful are your works
Looking in the mirror I saw some new gray hairs in my eyebrows. I resisted the temptation to pluck them out; I’d have no eyebrows left if I started doing that. “God, did you know that eyebrows are now a thing?” I asked. “There’s a whole industry built around making them look a certain way.”
“So I’ve seen,” God replied. “People seem to like conformity.”
“It can be a bit demoralizing when you don’t fit in with the standards,” I said. I rubbed my finger over my wiry brows, smoothing them into place.
“You fit in with my standards,” God said quietly.
“What standards are those?” I asked.
“Uniqueness and diversity,” He answered. “There are no exact replicas of anything in my creation. Everything is special in its own way.”
“So I don’t have to go on Amazon and buy an eyebrow stencil?”
“I hope you won’t!” God said with a smile. “I rather like your brows as they are; wild and wonderful, just like you.”
“Awww. Thanks, God.” I stepped away from the mirror, happy to be me, happy that we are all so richly unique.
The Spirit of God dwells in you.
~1 Corinthians 3:16
I woke to the feeling of fall; the morning cool and crisp. I rose and went out into the garden to greet the day. “Come,” God called to me on the breeze.
“Where?” I asked.
“Into my love,” He replied.
“I’m coming,” I said, as I walked under the clouds moving across the blue sky. A covey of quail startled and rose beyond the blackberry thicket. I stopped and watched them take flight. The songbirds, now awakened from their dreams, sang to me from the trees standing tall along the fenceline. The bees, intent on their chores, joined in with their winged noise. “You’re here, all around me,” I said.
“I’m in you, too,” God whispered. “Go Inside of yourself.”
I drew in a long breath and exhaled slowly. I put my hand over my heart and walked back to the cottage in silence, marveling that God put Himself inside of me where I can always find Him.
Let the glory of the Lord endure forever; Let the Lord be glad in His works;
Walking through the garden I stepped on seeds that had fallen from spent marigolds. I leaned down and picked up one of them and held it in my hand. It looked like a little exclamation mark nestled in my palm.
“You’re like that little seed,” God said.
“You are inside of your body, just like the flowers are inside of the seed casings. The flowers are not the seeds and you are not your body,” God explained.
A ripe pear fell from the tree, startling me. It rolled and came to rest next to dozens of pears rotting on the ground. “Why do you want me to know the distinction between me and my body?” I asked.
“Your body will one day wither, like the fruit on the ground. But you won’t be inside of it anymore. You are the soul that resides inside of your body, the soul I’ve known since the dawn of time. You are the child I dreamed of before I created the heavens and the earth, before I parted the night from the day. You are my precious Sparrow whom I love dearly,” God said softly.
My knees trembled, hearing His words. I sat down on the wooden bench. “God, it is almost too much to take in, the thought that you love me as you do,” I said.
“I love all of my children as much as I love you,” God said gently.
“I’ll remind them,” I said, and leaned down and picked up the pear that had fallen. I brushed it off on my shirt and took a bite out of it. It tasted of God’s goodness and glory—His sweet and tender love for us all.
“In the same way, let your light shine before others…”
“I want you to be a light for others,” God told me on our morning walk together.
“I thought I was already,” I said, rather defensively.
“Yes, but I want you to really shine now. Really burn.”
“What about burning?” I asked. I wasn’t thrilled with the word.
“The work of being a candle is that it has to burn in order to share its light,” God explained.
“You want me to burn?” I asked. I’m sure God could hear the concern in my voice.
“I want you to burn with my love for you. I want you to be on fire with the Holy Spirit. I want you to shine so brightly that other’s hearts will be illuminated.”
“So, it’s a metaphor, this fire you speak of,” I said, relieved.
“Of course it is Sparrow,” God smiled. ” I want you to fall even more in love with me. I want you to trust me even more than you do.”
“How do I do that?” I asked.
“I’ll help you,” He said gently as He rested His hand on my shoulder.
God wants you to do the work of burning for Him, too. To share your light with others, you’ve got to be on fire for God. It doesn’t happen on its own; you’ve got to strike the match. Ignite your reality with God.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.”
“Let go,” God whispered to me as I padded outside in the early morning, my head still dreamy from sleep.
“Let go of what?” I asked. “I’m not holding anything.” I opened my hands to show Him that they were empty.
“Not your hands. Your heart and mind,” He explained. “Let go of your worries and woes. Let go of your thoughts and beliefs. Let go of the words you use to construct your reality. Be with me in your pure form.”
“My pure form?”
“Yes. Be with me in spirit. Join me for a few moments without the incessant chatter in your mind. Let go of it all,” He said. “Sit in your garden and let yourself be still. Turn your consciousness towards the life that goes on around you. Let yourself expand beyond the boundaries you’ve built in your mind.”
And so I sat in the garden, still and quiet, and listened. The songs of the birds, the buzzing of the bees, the wind rustling through the trees—I took it all in, doing my best to be fully present in spirit, not in thought. For a few moments, I felt God’s expansiveness; His unlimited, eternal grace. There, beyond my thoughts, beyond the words I use to define reality, I touched God with my spirit, the pure essence of who He created me to be. And for a few moments, I was home.