So I plopped a small flax seed plant, more as an herb addition than anything, into a bare spot a couple of months ago. Obviously I cannot get enough flax seed to actually harvest and use, but the blue flowers are delicate and very pretty and I wanted to see how how this mega-healthy seed grew.
I mean, come on. This seed is high in Omega-3 Fatty Acids and helps fight cancer, diabetes, heart disease and a myriad of other things that ail us.
So, after the bloom, a very small, maybe pea-size, pod appears. It drys and slightly browns. I stop by and help myself to a pod or two while gardening. I pinch and crush it open, whereupon the chaff disintegrates in my hand and amongst it I find plump, life-giving seeds.
As I place the little sphere in my hand, I realize it is, really, a very delicate little covering, this outer husk. It surrounds the true fruit of the plant, but can be crushed in a second, obliterated with hardly any thought or effort at all. And then it looks like an unusable mess in the palm of your hand – like who would ever even take the time to try to retrieve the revitalizing seed once protected and nurtured? The crushing. And now what?
Some days I am in too much of a hurry and waste it, but today, I realized, the slightest breeze, my soft breath blown on the mess of the crushed husk is all it took to reveal: 10 perfectly shiny, healthy life-giving flax seeds. And the sheer density of the life-potential within them keeps them there during the wind-storm of my breath. The crushing hurt the shell, but the crushing couldn’t take away the future of these tiny seeds. The pod-destroying blow didn’t negate the purpose for which they were created and it couldn’t stop the seeds’ destiny.
“The harvest is past, the summer has ended, and we are not saved.” Since my people are crushed, I am crushed; I mourn, and horror grips me. Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then is there no healing for the wound of my people? Jeremiah 8.20-22
Two realizations on an early summer morning…
Same with us. God breathes in our direction on the most painful places, the most damaging situations, the most vanquished moment of our lives. My carefully fashioned defenses are obliterated. And? He breathes. And the force of His breath reveals – all has not been lost. The true thing remains. All I am and all He created me to be, the legacy I have to leave…there still as the chaff floats away on the breeze of His command.
Isaiah 53.5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.
And we can do that for others. We can be the agent of grace who looks at how the enemy has tried to hurt some one irreparably, tried to destroy the hope and the future plans God has for them and we can breathe life. What the enemy means for harm, that thing that has cut so deep a person cannot even see the way out, we can walk in as an Ambassador for Christ and the blow away the mess, dust off the area, bind up the brokenhearted, bandage the wounds and tell them, “See? You were born to be a beautiful planting of the Lord. The devil may have taken some stuff, but he couldn’t take your purpose. All is well. You are not destroyed. Be at peace.”
The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor. Isaiah 61.1-3