Of Shovels And Butterflies

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Of Shovels And Butterflies

With hands shoved deep into my pockets, I walked with my head down to hide the tears in my eyes. Who I was hiding them from? God! I don’t know. Even if someone drove by they couldn’t see my tear stained face. Warm breezes of early summer drifted through my hair, mocking the chill in my heart, despite their warmth. Brittle leaves, remnants of winter, crunched under my feet. Each and every crisp step echoed the brittleness of my own heart.

Sheer will and determination kept my mouth shut. I knew life and death were in the power of the tongue. No need to pour fuel on the fire. The abundance of my heart was filled with dead leaves and I knew it.

Distracted for a moment by a fluttering movement in my peripheral vision, my thoughts drifted away to former days of hot sun, bare dirt, and blistered hands.

Moving massive loads of dirt one shovel at a time into gigantic flower beds wasn’t my idea of fun and I intended to let it be known.

Irritation filling my voice I muttered out loud, “Duane,” Don’t you think grass would have been easier? Why didn’t you rent some equipment to do this?”

In his usual down to earth attitude he replied, “Quit complaining. Hard work is good for you. It will be worth it in the end. Put your head down and forget about it. That’s what I do.”

I recognized his all too familiar, “I working now” tone of voice, prohibiting any more argument from me. The rest of my conversation would have to take place in my head.

“Good for you, good for you,” my thoughts clamored as my shovel dug into the dirt, clanging against an exposed rock, vibrating my teeth. Enough was enough, yet to avoid conflict I dug a little harder, a little deeper, taking my frustration out on the muddy, clammy dirt as the sun burnt a hole in my back.

Aching back, hours of sweat and literal blood proved fruitful in the end, producing a beautiful rock laced potential. Duane’s job done, mine just beginning, led me to the local nursery. Momentary delight erased the memories of hard work as I touched, smelled and delighted in some of God’s lovely creations. Letting my hands slide across velvety leaves stirring up hidden scents, sending waves of pleasure into my senses; I caressed every exotic plant I could find.

“These are so beautiful Lord, so delicate. What do you think? Should I get these?”

A resounding, “No, pick something hardier, something more enduring,” startled me out of euphoria and back to reality.

Remembering the hot arid days of past summers, I retreated reluctantly to a different area, rummaging through traditional, less exciting specimens. Forced by budget and the sheer mass quantity of beds, I purchased smaller plants than I anticipated.

“Lord, these are hardier, but so tiny for the heat. There aren’t even any blooms; however, You’re the boss. Hope you know what you’re doing. You did have a garden once.”

Euphoria gone, I began the arduous task of planting scrawny, uninspiring fledglings. Bone tired, task completed, I set the sprinklers, walked away not giving any more thought to my less than delightful garden.

“Did I call it a garden, Lord? Well as far as I am concerned it’s a disaster waiting to happen. It’s up to you now. I’ve done all I can do with the little I had.”

The fluttering in my peripheral took the form of intricate, colorful wings, drawing me back into the present. My head once glued to the ground, rose slowly in absolute wonder. Swirling around me were hundreds of winged creatures in every size and color. Velvet wings touched my face, as if to dry my tears.

“They look like wind dancers.” I exclaimed in rapturous joy; my tears forgotten.”

Floating through the air they drew my attention to my once barren garden. I was so busy looking down ruminating on my many woes I hadn’t even noticed the lush carpet of abundant blooms now filling the air with intoxicating aromas.

“You sent them just for me, Lord?”

Responding with gentleness, the Lord spoke to my awakened heart, “Yes, they are here to remind you, even though you like your yard were once a desolate bareness, an unlikely candidate; I have made you My watered garden filled with winged abundance.”

Dead leaves and tears forgotten and with gratefulness filling my senses, out of the abundance of my heart I proclaimed, “Sometimes it takes a shovel to make wings.”

Brenda Craig Copyright 2006/2007

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About the Author


Brenda Craig is a published author, prophetic teacher and Seer whose desire is to know the Lord in all His fullness. Her writings and teachings reflect a deep intimacy with the Lord. As a worshiper, Brenda has received revelation on how to take the simple act of ‚ÄúSoaking in His Presence‚ÄĚ to a new level and developed a teaching called Soaking with a Purpose.

One Response to “Of Shovels And Butterflies”

  1. Beautiful story. Yes, you are right. I remember my father, an excellent farmer, said “The patience of the country pople, hard work under the scorching heat of the sun and courage when drenched by rain make food available on every table of the rich in the cities.”

    Your shovel made the garden with blooms to house the butterflies!

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