Why? Why should this come crashing down on me so hard this time? It’s but a straw!


And such a pile lies rotting, hard upon the center of my life.


What they say about the broken back, though, seems come true. So much worse has dropped before, yet now I lie, suddenly immobile under weight accumulation, crushed where life flows through the backbone of my existence. I am left numb, immobile but for the inward squirming of my trapped soul, flailing about.

It hungers, that soul, famished, for something lasting left by life. Craves, after long existence spent with intention, yet somehow still misspent—to find one gift of permanence, to offer back to its incomprehensible, true-through-all Lover.

It finds but empty hollow rotting straws.


Sometimes He makes us empty so we will seek what He has to fill us.

Sometimes He lets us writhe with the question so we’ll strain for the answer, grip hard when we find it.


Sometimes He will bring our life to nothing so on its carte blanche the message He paints gets all our focus, to see unhindered the beauty-truth and hear the prescript purpose…

I see a tree once promising magnificence, now but a stump, cut off dead. Then from one ring, just one, one sprout grows a sapling of life. And it leafs! And it fruits!

It is a painting, but speaks like a vision.

It rings!

And this soul, it quiets beneath the rubble. Which suddenly seems lighter.  It ponders.

I think I feel a sprout…


Saplings grow in surprising places, cut right through rock, push out and up with strength uncanny, toward air and heaven and light. The pile of straw, could it be but compost, making humus to feed… growth? And good fruit?

I just read the word humility comes from the same root as humus. Low down ground.  From humus-low humility comes God growth. And leaves that don’t wither. And fruit without fade.

And here is hope.


[Yes, the photo shows a sproutling maple, and maples seem to have no fruit. But maple, it has fruit within itself, the sweet gold liquid that becomes sweetest syrup.]

Thanks to Shelly Miller at Redemption’s Beauty for her Surrendering to Sabbath post this week and its many valuable links, especially (for me right now) the one to Laura Boggess’s post at the Wellspring, thanks also to Laura for her words and the Scott Erickson video—all of which God used together to inspire this post, and this hope!



3 thoughts on “Under the Pile: Compost?

  1. How can it be bad if it brings us to our Father? Our perspective is washed in the senses of our instinct… Not much beauty in that. It is within, from our Father that we find our worth… in humility first…

  2. Yes, Floyd, exactly so. He has been giving me just that review lesson. And once we emerge from the “compost” with the right perspective, how lovely, and peaceful, it is! Thanks.

  3. “Sometimes He makes us empty so we will seek what He has to fill us.” – can’t even count the number of times I’ve experienced this! Beautiful post, friend. Thank you so much for sharing!

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