Wednesday was dry,
and even the sun made a surprising,
but sadly brief, appearance.
The temperature was mild,
and so I found myself lured outside.
My husband was waging war on the leaves that drift down from the oaks along the southern side. As I sit and write this today a fresh fall of leaves mock as they slowly reclaim the lawn once more.
Our front garden is small and compact, so I value every inch.
We turned part of it into extra parking for visitors, but a flower is unperturbed, and added pots - small light weigh ones, which are moved around, according to how and where we need the space.
I spent some time carefully removing the dead seed heads from the plants in the pots.
Gardening is one of those times when I feel closest to God.
As I tidied I found myself praying for my neighbours.
Then my attention was taken by the lobelia,
which even I have to admit,
is well past its best.
Hints have been dropped for some time about it needing to be removed,
and yes it is looking rather straggly in places,
but I found it hard to pull up plants while they are still flowering.
As I looked at the small delicate flowers, I thought of each and every person,
and how they matter to God.
They are not perfect.
They all have flaws.
Yet each and everyone is still important.
They are unlikely to make it through the winter. Yet underneath there were new fresh shoots.
I got the grass shears and gently pruned, removing the sections that were straggly and growing yellow.
As I did this, I reflected on how God is at work in the world,
and how we need to be willing to let go of the old and familiar
in order to allow new things to take their place.
Then God said to me "You are being a bit reckless,
gardening in your work clothes with your best scarf on!
The one you take such delight in.
If you don't watch out you will be snipping off those lovely tassels,
because you are so busy focusing on the task,
that you are not looking after yourself!"
"It will be fine, " I said, and carried on with the task at hand.
Then I noticed one of my tassels was no longer attached to the scarf.
"Yes, Lord, you were right, but I didn't listen"
Not for the first time :(
meaning to reattach it later.
Alas when I took a closer look I realised that more than a hassle had been chopped off!
No-one will notice.
Only I will know... but I will remember.
In all the busyness of our Christmas preparations it is easy to forget that the baby was born to be a sacrifice...
and in all the spending and celebrations
it all gets overlooked,
a small detail a busy world cannot see.