Something inside me doesn’t know how to express in words what this change in the world means, yet the words that do come to my mind are “pause”, “quietness”, “uncertainty”, “wait”…These words are in some form descriptive of these moments we are living in. It’s strange how we have become used to doing everything at home, for example, many work from home, have set up an office there, now we cook more in our homes, some have organized all the things they have in their closet or gotten creative with what they have in the pantry, there are others of the more daring type that go camping in their living room or on the patio, they run or do their exercises there as well. There are some that are learning online and doing meetings or meetups online. But everything is indoors, everything inside… in the house.
This was a description of the place on the inside where we physically live between four walls, but what about the place where we spiritually live, our being and souls…what are we doing there? To be honest, the first week of quarantine, I tried to work on the inside and get myself together, developing good habits, cultivating goals and discipline (even though some were very challenging and I’m still in the process of working on). As the weeks passed on, I realized that it wasn’t just about adding to my life, but taking away, and polishing. And I discovered it wasn’t just about doing, but even pausing from doing, being still, observing and listening.
I’ve seen and listened much during this time. Today I want to share something that has captivated me almost every day: five months ago, with a friend, we took the seeds from a bell pepper and planted them. When they started to grow, my friend gave them to me to put in a pot on my patio. It was exciting to see the seeds growing, the plants were developing from the small sprouts they once were. The plants suffered the heat of the summer and many withered, while others looked sad, but they still wanted to grow. Two months ago, one of them began to flower. The flower soon died and small fruit replaced it. Next it was attacked by ants, some of the flowers were eaten, while others lasted. The bell pepper continued to grow, it was beautiful to see one after the next grow along with more flowers and fruit.
You may be asking, “Where is she going with this??”
Well to me, it was a gift from my Creator, a gift to see first hand what it is to see a seed planted, what it is to grow little by little, what it is to be transplanted, attacked by the weather and ants, to see the death of a flower, so that the fruit can grow… And not only this, but see that it doesn’t depend on the seed or the plant, but it depends on someone on the outside, capable of transforming the circumstances, and cleaning the wounds (I had to clean every leaf with water and soap to clean off the eggs the bugs had left.) It depends on someone there to feed and sustain, giving water that gives life, that cares for and protects. There is beauty in all this! As you see, it was inevitable not to think of myself… What I do and what God does. I live for Him and only for Him. Without Him, I might be burned by the sun, attacked by ants, or grieving over my losses and what I don’t have. The process of growth and giving fruit must be carried out through the hand of a Sustainer.
I believe many of us have passed through many different phases in the quarantine, completing goals set for ourselves while others have abandoned them, some want to get out and others don’t, some want to sleep and others want to watch their shows, etc. I want to encourage you in all of these times, that you give yourself the goal to be captivated. To be captivated in the details that the Creator has for you, so that you can see how He is sustaining you and live in the season that you are in. Maybe He has planted a seed in you that wants to grow, but there may be external factors that are keeping you from recognizing the Sustainer who wants to do good things in your life. Maybe you have already given flowers or fruit… my intention was not that you would measure the phases as milestones, but that you would recognize God’s work in your life, as your Friend, your Lover, your Abba, thanking Him for what He is doing in you. I give thanks to God that He has captivated me by the details He has for my life.