What a joy it is to celebrate the exodus of the Jewish people and decorate my home this Passover Spring season! Celebrating our “crossing over” or exodus from personal captivity as well as having empathy while pursuing justice for those still in captivity is an important tenet of Judaism. As a survivor, I speak out against domestic and familial violence this year and every year until there are #nomore victims. May those suffering from various forms of captivity choose to be ever-blooming despite the good, the bad, and the bugly…despite life’s prickly pain! Moreover, may God use each of us to remove the “leaven” of such adversities from our homes and society (Exodus 12:15, 19-20), while pursuing justice for those awaiting an exodus of their very own!
As the warm Spring air awakened my senses, I decided to spend sometime addressing the garden beds my ground-covering drift roses call home. Kneeling on my padded garden mat, I ever so delicately cleared away the dead leaves that found themselves entangled within the canes of these low to the ground roses. While slowly and carefully clearing away the fallen leaves, random trash, and overgrown weeds from tight places so close in between the rose canes and the dirt, the Holy Spirit gently pointed out to me how these little wandering roses were being smothered and held down partly by the dead leaves embedded in their canes, partly by the proximity of the rose being too low to the ground, and partly by the weeds that encamped these drift roses. Similarly, how easy it is to become small roses “drifting” through life by hanging onto burdensome leaves like offense or by allowing enormous life sucking weeds like negative people, places, or things to stunt our growth. Thankfully, when Jesus, as our Master Gardner, kneels down besides us, reaches in our mess, and starts to slowly clear the debris, we can start to see the truth of our ugly realities, who He is, and who we are in His beautiful garden more clearly. When we start to accept the truth of our own captivity and how we got there, while letting God’s Spirit get in our dirt, we will no longer be ground-covering roses painfully drifting through this garden called life. Instead, we will be ever-blooming and ever-growing roses breaking new ground!