The book pens a journey with Mary, the mother of Jesus, as a framework for pondering life lessons, or songs, of grace-filled "yes" to God.

This blog continues to explore the implications of these songs in daily life. Here you will find ten additional reflections on each of Mary's "songs." May they continue to encourage your heart. ~Carla

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Of Soil and Prayer

As the refugee got on the plane, he paused at the base of the stairs and scooped up a bit of his native soil in a small container and carefully placed it in his pocket. This image from The Kite Runner was still resting in my mind this morning as I read Romans 8.  Jesus is at the right hand of the Father interceding for us (34).  The Spirit helps us in our weakness, and intercedes for us according to the will of God. (26,27)  

I find myself this morning musing on my aching attachment to my native soil—family, friends, church, country, world.  Jesus actually claimed our earth—with all of its loveliness and brokenness—as his native soil and has carried it with the love and commitment of the ultimate patriot into the presence of his Father.  He did not merely scoop up a handful of our earth and set it on a shelf.  His life is inextricably bound to the soil of our earthy lives. He is one of us.  He is for us.  Our soil is constantly tended by him as he intercedes for us. 

At the same time, the Spirit knows heaven’s soil so well that he can catch up our distressed earth and fill it again with the nutrients of heaven.  The Spirit’s filling is gift: it has nothing to do with us having the right words or the clearest perspective on any given day.  “For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words” (Romans 8:26).

And so the refugee is not alone.  We all encounter times when we are weak, distressed, groaning and have no words we can speak to God with confidence.  Yet there is one who has carried our dusty lives right to the throne of our Father.  And there is another who is constantly sent from the Father and the Son to fill our dusty earth with heaven’s wholeness. 

I have never been pressed to place a container of my native soil in my pocket, although the image is a powerful one.  Far more important is the truth that the ultimate soil of earth advocates for us at the right hand of the Father, and the grace-filled soil of heaven permeates our nutrient-drained hearts.    

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