Where there are no oxen, the manger is clean,
but abundant crops come by the strength of the ox. (Proverbs 14:4)
We want abundance.
We want all the harvest we can handle.
We want pressed down, shaken together overflowing goodness.
We don’t want poop.
We don’t want to clean up the messy steps that can so easy squish between our toes.
We don’t want everything it takes to bring in the sheaths …
We want clean and easy
We overwhelming harvest
… We can’t have both.
I really don’t like dealing with messes. I don’t like seeing them, smelling them, touching them, hearing them. I don’t like how simply being around them makes me even taste the filth.
No quesion. I’d rather there were never any messes. Period.
But then I remember when my nest was first emptied, and how I yearned for little boy messes. How I yearned for the messiness of relationships that wrestled out the kinks on living room floors. How I yearned for the messiness of forgotten dishes, and neglected bathrooms and too-often closed doors. How I hoped for even one more night of young men’s voices messying up the peace I thought I craved.
And I think of a widowed woman with no socks to pick up, no whiskers to whisk away, no infuriating silence sitting brazen in the now-empty chair…
Messes are signs of life. They are the fertilizer to make green the pasture on MY side of the fence. They are the pulse of the here and now, the hope in the there and later.
— and they are meant to be be embraced with thankfulness in all their poop-scooping joy.
Lord, too many times I’ve yearned for a clean manger. I’m not yearning for that anymore. Clean and tidy is not full and abundant. Bring on the mess if it means more crops. Bring on the mess if through it it means more will know You. Bring on the mess and help me embrace each one, and count them all joy.
Watering Today: Prov 14, Ps 14, 114: Jeremiah 16-17; Psalms 96; John 16