Friday, November 4, 2011

Finding God in the Sandbox

Feeling the need to meet with God and enjoy His creation, I sneaked out to the backyard while the kids napped. I didn't have a lot to say; I just wanted to listen. I paced around and tried to soak up some of that delicious sun.

Then... I got sidetracked, as all type-A, task-driven people do. I took care of some dead marigolds that were begging for a proper burial. I picked up the sidewalk chalk littering the concrete, and then I saw one of Maddie's sandbox toys in the grass. Thinking it a quick fix, I lifted her sandbox lid to toss it in, but was greeted, not with dry pebbles, but nasty sludge. Somehow, water had managed to infiltrate the barrier and the leaves that had already found haven were turning to a putrid muck. The decaying smell triggered memories of sandbox adventures with my brother. We'd mix berries and leaves in water and sand and concoct "remedies" and stews. But if we left them overnight, the next day they were a brownish slop of the most disgusting proportions.

As I started to scoop out the black-filmy water and dump the rotten leaves, God showed me that our hearts can be a lot like that sandbox. We think we have it covered-up, concealed from the outside, but the elements still get in there, effecting the ecosystem. If we don't open up the lid and let the sun dry it out, we'll start to see decay and fungal growth.

Maddie lost some sand in her box today because some of it needed to go. I had to get a lot of the water out, but I left the lid off so the sun can burn off the rest.

Sometimes when our boxes get dirty, the clean-up process is messy and painful, but it's necessary.

I am trying to open my heart up today. Honestly, it's not been very pretty lately. I've had some major temper issues and frustrations. I've been doubting and making assumptions... negative assumptions that is leading to some bitterness I need to scoop out right now before it promotes more sludge in my heart. And in a lot of these situations, I've put the lid over it, pretending I don't have a problem, pretending it's justified to keep it all in there. That it will just "go away" when it needs to. But it won't, not without God's help.

So, today, I'm leaving the lid off and letting the sun work.

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