This time of year, the grass is brown where we live.
Except for a section of our back lawn.
My husband asked a lot of questions at Farm City. He bought a lot of plastic piping. He drilled a lot of holes in said piping. Connected it to our bath and basin outlet with fancy connecting-type thingies. Then he buried it all. And the grass started going green.
All the water that would have gone, well, down the drain, goes into our lawn and there’s nothing grey about a grey-water system – just green-green-green when everything else is still dry dust, thirsty for summer.
From where I’m standing, the grass is brown all over the world.
There isn’t a patch of planet free from sleaze or prejudice or the odd suicide bomber. Then there’s the whole abject poverty thing. And any other story you care to scroll through on any other news app.
Maybe you look around and you’re a little paralysed. Maybe for you – for me – the jury is still out when it comes to the future of the country, the future of the world. We’re all big enough to know the truth that no one can see into next week and next week might be awful.
But I know I also need to be big enough to admit that wherever I go in the world, I take myself with me. There’s no getting away from me when I up and go off green-grass hunting. Where there’s green grass in the world, it’s only because the people right there on that grass are watering it. If I’m not given to watering my grass right where I’m standing – what makes me think I’ll bother to water it somewhere else?
We’ve just finished Season 1 of Madam Secretary, because, ShowMax. In the final episode, Secretary of State Elizabeth McCord is between a rock and a nuclear bomb in (another) volatile diplomatic fiasco fraught with apocalyptic political agenda. Her husband, Henry, says to her:
‘When everything seems to be lacking in integrity, you know what you do? You find it in yourself. You change the world right from where you’re standing.’
So I’m thinking, what if we got to the root of things?
What if we stopped putting our hope in the lawn dressing and the top soil?
What if, right where we’re standing, we let God drill holes in us – in our fears and in our comfort zones – so that He can spill out to make the grass green? What if, as Nkosi Johnson suggested, we do all we can with what we have in the time we have in the place we are?
I’m thinking that, today and forever, my hope isn’t in Mmusi, Jacob or Julius (though I am absolutely voting for one of those names tomorrow because for as long as God has me here I’m keen to be my bravest, wisest, most responsible self). Neither is my hope in Hillary, Donald, Theresa or anyone else, because Isaiah and later Matthew reminded us that His Name would be the hope of all the world.
Hoping in Jesus isn’t a cliché. It doesn’t mean being so heavenly minded we’re of no earthly good. It means being mobilised from self-preservation to self-sacrifice – compelled to love the world from the grass beneath our feet.
Because friend, here’s the truth:
No matter what place you’ve chosen to call home, home is just that – a calling. And for sure, as God’s people, we’re called to be the safe pasture.
We’re all just standing somewhere on the globe. We’re breathing the same oxygen, and the same gravity pulls us close. What if we welcomed the uncomfortable work of God in us – at grassroots level – and let the Living Water run right out of us, right where we are?
I think it would change us. I think it would change our neighbourhoods and our cities.
It might even change the world.
. . .
Thanks for letting me into this non-Monday space. Just felt that today was the day for this post.
Feel free to share it with your people.
Love and strength to you, right where you are.
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