My son Elijah is happiest when his hands are holding markers so that his mind can express ideas. He draws and draws, then he searches for the right words to capture what’s on the page. On Monday, he drew a picture of a flower, its green stem stretching all the way to the top of the page.
“Daddy,” he said to me, “Write ‘Ligey’s Day’ on the top, in the middle of the flower, and then write, ‘My life grows and grows’ on the bottom.”
I can’t believe this kid.
He’s right. Our lives grow and grow, up the twisty mountain trails of adventure and down into the treacherous gullies of sadness and pain. Sometimes our stomachs lurch at the speed of our lives, and though we furiously pump the brakes, we keep careening onward, holding on, just barely. Other times, our lives are snails, crawling imperceptibly towards a future that seems a lifetime away.
Our lives grow and grow.
Last Saturday, the core team of our new church gathered to play and talk and eat food together. Everybody’s kids came, and they trudged up the path above the waterfall in the backyard, and down again, feet muddy and happy. Then they jumped on the trampoline, forming a throng of friendship and new beginnings, laughing and growing and becoming. At one point I walked up into the loft that overlooks the backyard, where some kids were playing. Then I looked down on everybody. It was such a beautiful new beginning, and my heart almost stopped. After all the praying and meeting and hoping, there we were, gathered together for the first time.
My life grows and grows.
My friend Christopher has lived with a battery connected to his heart for years, because without it, his heart stops. When he sleeps at night, he’s literally tethered to a machine. He’s been waiting for a heart transplant, praying and hoping and growing and growing.
Last week, he got the phone call, had the surgery, and is now recovering and feeling the pulsing of that new(er) heart in his old(er) body. He’s imagining what that first night sleeping in his bed will feel like when he doesn’t have to be hooked up to a machine. He’s dreaming of throwing his kids up into the air. He’s dreaming of hiking.
His life grows and grows.
And your life grows and grows, too. Can you see it? Can you smell it? It grows because it’s being cultivated.
It might be still and small and slow. It’s still there. It might be frightening and fast and furious. It’s there. Your life grows and grows. God is cultivating the garden that is your life, hands muddy and face smiling. You are being tended.
That is what is happening to you today.