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Lynna Clark: What a mess!

What a Mess!

Don’t you love a tidy yard? All the leaves have been removed, the lawn is neatly cut, bushes are trimmed, and border grass marches in a happy little trail around deeply mulched flower beds. Even in the winter a landscape can be manicured and neat. That is exactly what our place looks like, only the opposite.

Two dead trees had to be taken down so uneven stumps stand waiting expectantly for a big flower pot or something creative to hide their nakedness. Heavy leftover chunks of wood cannot be removed because the yard is too wet to get a truck back there. Septic problems thankfully were corrected but the front yard had to be dug up. Red North Carolina clay marks the escapades of my favorite plumber and his backhoe. And of course I backed our truck too close to the diggage and marred up so deep that it took another truck with a chain to pull me out… well… the truck out. Deep tire tracks gouged a lovely reminder of my great driving skills.

The front flower beds were once lined with landscaping timbers stacked neatly to mark their territory. But with all the recent diggage, the rottenness of their souls was revealed as they came apart like exploding Lincoln Logs. So there they sprawl all willy-nilly waiting for warmer weather and drier days so one of us [that would be David] can finish breaking them apart for removal. But since they’re held together with rebar which I want to save for my next project, they… like me… must wait.

Meanwhile some fine fellow, with worse driving skill than I, took the curve below our house too fast one night and wound up plowing through our mailbox and neighbor’s fence. The fence stretches lazily on the ground by our driveway. A lovely plastic bumper was also left in haste. It has been waiting by the curb for the proper city personnel to remove it to Scrapheap Gloryland. Our mailbox is currently attached to the rail by the back door with a blue cargo strap until we can get a post in the ground.

It’s all quite charming.

I walked the yard surveying the opposite of tidiness. It felt quite hopeless. What a mess! Then one morning I awoke to a wonderful gift.

During the night came a gorgeous snow. This broken hopeless mess was beautifully covered. Our surroundings changed from worst to first, from junkyard to Christmas card in one fell swoop of God’s mighty hand.

What a picture of His great grace! “Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow!” –Isaiah1:18

Don’t you love that He is big enough to cover our mess? He alone can be trusted in our most hopeless situation. For when He is invited, hope once again becomes possible.


Lynna Clark lives and writes in Salisbury.


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