Sunday, December 28, 2008

Far as the curse is found

There's an obscure line in one of the verses of Joy to the World that makes me weep for the profound gorgeous joy.

No more let sins and sorrows grow
Nor thorns infest the ground
He comes to make his blessings flow
far as the curse is found

Anyone who has struggled with addiction—dangit there's that word again—anyone who has experienced sin or sorrow—everybody raise your hand—anyone who has experienced sin or sorrow might understand the way I have been experiencing sin and sorrow: the pervasiveness of it.

Pervasive. Kind of a weird word for, "Dammit that sumbitch is everwhere!!!"
Okay. I lost half of you right now. I just cussed twice and quoted a hymn in the same article. (shake my head while smiling)
Welcome to my world, people welcome to my world.
If any of you are still listening (giggle) I have often used gardening as a metaphor for life because I think a garden is such a perfect metaphor for the human heart. And healing, recovery, growth, maturity is all about pulling thorns, pulling weeds, and planting flowers. (and vegetables, fruits and other sundry positive plant life. (giggle) I'm a girl so let's just stick with the flowers okay! Thorns bad flowers good. Nice and simple. Okay?

So back to my word 'pervasive'. I can just visualize myself trying to pull a plant out of one of my flowerbeds. The ol' boy had died and I had to pull it out in order to make room for something alive and beautiful. Well lemme tell you, that plant was pervasive! Those roots were EVERYWHERE. I'd think I'd have them all, then I'd run my cultivator through the dirt and (gameshow buzzer noise) I'd hit another root. After a while, I my face started to get hot and sweaty and instinctively I wiped my face. With my hand. Which was wearing a very dirty glove. Whammo. Insta mud right there on my face. And I'm a girl. and we don't LIKE mud on our face. Instamud or any other kind of mud, thank you.

This went on for over an hour when this lovely southern lady (that would be me) blurted out in a huff: "Dammit that sumbitch is everwhere!!!"

Now you know God already forgave me for cussing or I wouldn't be telling you people. After all, the only one who heard me cuss the first time was God and my flowerbed and my flowerbed ain't talkin'. So I've gone and tattled on myself. Which I did for a reason. To illustrate my next keyword: frustration.

When someone encounters an addiction, and they see how pervasive it is, they invetably feel frustration which is often only a buck shy of despair. I didn't go quite to despair that time in my garden by crying. I threw down my gloves and went inside to take a shower, having resolved to tell my husband about that pervasive plant and ask him sweetly to strongarm it out of the ground for me. That would be the surrender keyword. Surrender.

So I want to go back to the hymn (it's about time I rerail this conversation back to the hymn what with the cussing and all)

No more let sins and sorrows grow
nor thorns infest the ground
he comes to make his blessings flow
far as the curse is found

Oh you guys! This is such good news!
Q: Where does God want to heal us?
A: Everywhere we hurt.

This is why Jesus came. This is why the Angels sang on the night Jesus was born.
Imagine every cold and lonely aching spot in your heart. Imagine inviting Him into those broken places, giving Himself some time and elbow room, and see what He will do.

This is Joy. There are places in my life that are works in progress. Places that I very much desire to see positive change. And yet, I know that I am His and I belong to Him and with Him and that God is 100% delighted in me right now. He has done so much, and He shows no signs of stopping. So I take stock of 2008 and look toward 2009 with joy. Because I know if I keep giving God permission, He will do beautiful, gorgeous, fun, enriching things in my heart, in my body, in my relationships, in my vocation, in my ins and outs of life, good things are coming.

I love you all. Thanks for sharing the journey of 2008 with me.
Mwah! -Sensuous Wife


Cocotte said...

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year, SW. Hope all is well with you and yours. Hugs!

Desmond Jones said...

Good post, Shula; thanks.

And I gotta tell ya, your definition of 'pervasive' is about as good as I've ever come across. . .

Just how far is the Curse found? Dammit, that sumbitch is everywhere!

The Wild Man said...

May the curse be further uprooted and cast out of your life, dear sister.

Matt Kelly said...

I love the gardening analogy. Good Stuff which made me laugh, I enjoyed reading it.