Joel 2:12-13

Lent 22 ~ Apples from My heart

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Last night I went out, as always to say good night. The night air had a slight touch of coolness. In the sky, I saw the Milky Way. This is rarely visible, so of course I went out to the field to get the best view. There were more than a million stars out and I made a lot of wishes. The familiar scent of apples in various stages filled the air. I stood amongst the fallen apples and under a trail of stars for a good while. . . . and when I was able – I said good night with a grateful heart.   ~ Michele Warren, The Rabbitpatch Diary

 

          In one of her latest comments, Linda Raha mentioned about going over the blessings of the day when we go to bed. If it didn’t stick with me as it should have then, it certainly did now.

          It is a terrible thing to not be grateful. In my life, some of the most trying people have always been the ones who are incredibly ungrateful. They bite and snark more at life than life deserves simply due to diminished gratitude. In an ungrateful heart, there’s little softness to absorb the hard knocks of life, to soften the blows that must fall upon us in its seasons. So, not only is pain felt in all its depth, I suspect it is also exaggerated because it has too much space to grow. Life with an ingrate can be beyond tolerable. You can be worn to the bone of soul trying to make the ingrate happy and keep it that way for some hours of sanity. Life in a home shared with one is to live in perpetual darkness; to be in the light you have to be away from that person.

          But that only makes coming home that much harder. There’s nothing worse than having light touch your soul but then later having to return to a darkness that abhors the light. Some forms of ingratitude is exactly that: a dark that cannot tolerate the light of thankfulness.

          Today is Friday and it is my day of atonement and reparation. Today, I atone for all the times I have been anything less than grateful for every little sweetness God has pressed into the fold and creases of my life – and sadly, there have been too many of those instances. It is always the easier option to call someone out for a failing; looking inside and facing up to the same fault is never pleasant.

          But that is the special grace of Lent.

Even now, says the LORD,
return to me with your whole heart,
for I am gracious and merciful.   ~  Joel 2: 12 – 13

          Tonight, Michele Warren’s memories of apple~days stir to life one of my own, of a child long ago, nourished by the sweetness of apples gifted from the heart.

          So, to my God I return with a gift I haven’t offered my Lord enough, apples from my own heart.