Isaiah 1:18 (New International Version)
18 "Come now, let us reason together,"
says the LORD.
"Though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red as crimson,
they shall be like wool.
In Genesis 3 it says that God walked in the garden in the cool of the day and although that might have been the morning, I wonder if it was the evening.
It's a magical time in a garden, the evening--so peaceful. This evening the breeze whispers in the tree tops. "Sssssssssh," it says softly. Mourning doves coo in gentle tones while other birds twitter and chirp from their resting places.
The heavily pregnant poppy heads nod wisely--green orbs soon to unfold into brilliant red--and the peonies bend over in glorious and luxuriant full bloom--creamy white, deep rose and palest delicate pink. On every hand are lovely hidden nooks and crannies. They whisper, "Come; pause--admire--Peace is here."
I think that God walks in evening gardens still.
I am overwhelmed with gratitude that God has been cleaning the windows of my soul--helping me to see much more clearly. The past month has been such a journey of discovery, testing and joy.
This week I've been thinking about the importance of acknowledging sin--confessing it to safe friends, as James tells us to (chapter 4). Admitting to weakness and sin--saying out loud and with honesty, things that bind and weigh us down--that is the beginning of the end for them--the start of the unshackling!
We learn to hide, as Adam did in the garden. We hide from God, from our friends and even from ourselves.
I don't want to hide from God or others or myself. In the past month, God has opened me up like one of those poppy pods. I was so tightly and firmly closed, but--slowly, slowly I have opened up to his truth and beauty in my life.
There is more of course, but like little Much Afraid in Hind's Feet on High Places, I am on the journey to the heights; building altars as I go--picking up pebbles and putting them in my pouch to remember the sacrifice of love made at each step of the journey.
The wonder of it all is that I thought I was holding up my hands, giving something up in sacrifice, but instead, he filled them with precious gifts that he had wanted to give all along.
He was only waiting for me to give up, so that he could give back...
Titus 3:5-6 (New International Version)
5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior,