Saturday March 19, 2022
We had several huge clumps of lemongrass in our garden plot at the Azalea Community Gardens. These plants were in the plot when we first started
renting it about 8 years ago. The previous gardener left them. And the city did not remove them. So there was already lemongrass in our plot when we took it over.
But the lemongrass was too prolific. It did too well. We had to remove it because it had gotten too big. There is a maximum height of 4 feet for plants in the garden. The lemongrass was well over six feet. So, I dug it out and removed it. But there was so much of it. And I liked making lemongrass tea. So, I took the plants home and read up on how to grow lemongrass. I decided to cut back the stalks to six inches and then to put the plants in the ground in our yard at home and see what would happen. So, I cut all the stalks down and soaked the roots. I dug the holes and put in the clumps of stalks at various places in the yard. Then we watered them daily. Within one day, new green shoots started to appear with more appearing each day. And these new shoots were not shy. Within a few days some were six and eight inches tall. And they are continuing to climb. I have never seen anything come back so fast and furious after being severely pruned. I expect to be drinking lemongrass tea again soon. Maybe even by Easter!
During this time of Lent, we often reflect on what is holding us back from re-turning our lives to God. We think about naming the obstacles to our discipleship. We ponder the forces and influences that are distracting us from living fully and freely in the reality of God. This is intended to be a time of honest assessment and awareness. And in that process, we identify what we need to get rid of, cut back, chop down, prune, uproot, so that we might live fully in the joy and community of the kin-dom of God.
There can be a lot to let go of. To turn your back on. To strip away. And it can be a painful process. We may grieve what we must leave behind. We may be sorry for how we have wasted our energies. There may be waves of sadness and regret. But there is the lesson of the lemongrass – new life emerges. Bursts forth. Shoots up. Thrives.
This season, may our sadness or grief at letting go not overshadow the new life and possibility that is emerging. May our eyes and hearts be open to what is coming forth; appearing. Something new is happening. May we notice that as well and take courage and joy from the re-turning of new life. There is a wildness in mercy!
Think about something you have let go of or moved away from. A habit. A relationship. A perspective. A behavior. A grudge. Notice the absence that is present. Now look for what is new. What is arriving. Relief. Energy. A new relationship or activity that brings joy. A lighter heart. A new purpose. A mended spirit. Give thanks for the wildness of Divine mercy that is with us through our pain all the way to the joy on the other side. Amen.