The plums and almonds are blossoming. The wafting smells drive my allergies crazy, but the beauty is worth it. “Where no oxen are, the stable is clean.”
Sometimes, you are dropped right into the middle of man’s total depravity and see what some humans are capable of doing to other humans, and it hits you right in the gut.
The only hope for mankind is the cross of Jesus Christ. This is the exclamation point on God’s verdict on humankind, as well as God’s compassion.
If our only hope is the cross of Christ, why are we as Christians so slow to believe the horrible things that humans do to each other. The history of the world and the verdict of the cross shout loudly from every corner that humans are indeed capable of doing great wickedness.
Humans are also capable of great beauty and great achievements. This makes their wickedness so much more wicked. If humans were not image-bearers of God, sin would not be as ugly as it is.
Today I harvested a bunch of dill and hung it up to dry. The oregano also was ready to harvest, so I gathered the firstfruits of much more to come. My tomato seedlings have sprouted. Man’s wickedness is ugly. But God remembers mercy.
Have you thanked God that he has not yet come in judgment? He has not yet gathered in all of his people, and his compassion has not yet reached an end. This is the astounding mercy of God.
And at the same time, sometimes the longing is more intense than other times.
I have had the privilege to know the stories of a few people. Some of them are the strongest, most courageous, most astounding people I know. I am continually floored by their resilience in what they have survived. This reminds me to be very patient with the ones whose stories I don’t know. You don’t know what they have endured.
I stood in line at a pizza place and ordered my pizza. They fixed it just as I ordered it. It was exactly what I expected. God’s providence is astounding. His hand is not only in that which is unexpected, but also in the ordinary and usual. Think, for a moment, about everything that had to happen for the pizzeria to make a pizza just as I ordered it. It boggles the mind, and none of it is out of God’s control.
When I was a teenager, I was in a pizza joint with my brother. He ordered a pizza. They asked if he wanted anchovies. He said “sure”, not knowing what they were. I have a vivid memory of him shouting “Fish? Fish on pizza?! What kind of monster puts fish on pizza??!”
My brother liked to make a scene. I love that about him.
There is never any reason for anyone to ever listen to the Steve Miller Band. I tried to get my Alexa to make a note that I never, ever, under any circumstances, want to hear the Steve Miller Band. She said, “I can’t do that.” Useless robot.
Every time a pastor cracks a joke about a woman, another soul shrivels a little bit in despair, withdraws behind their wall, and vows to never, ever speak about her pain to anyone, ever. Pastors, is the joke worth it? When it is replayed on the day of judgement, will it be funny then?
Every time a pastor ridicules or scoffs at someone’s pain, mocks a victim of a crime, asks “what were you wearing” or makes a joke about mental illness, yet another soul shrivels inside and hides behind their wall. Is it worth it?
When you hear what humans do to one another in the dark, you have a hard time getting worked up about so many of the things you used to get worked up about.
Come quickly, Lord Jesus. In wrath, remember mercy.
I’m going to water my flowers now.