Every morning, unless it is raining, I go out to my yard and water the plants. It is a wonderful time to pray and to listen. The traffic noise can be overwhelming where we live, but while I am watering, the sound and motion of the water blocks everything else out. A little water every morning and plants thrive. Without it, they become parched, brittle and shriveled and they cannot make fruit or flower. They bend over and die, without water.
How too, our hearts can become dry and brittle without prayer and a community of faith. We can be from the hardiest stock, but without water, we can do no flowering or bearing fruit. When I water, I pray and listen. To the water, and to God. The water of baptism that claims me as a beloved child of God, the water of washing that cleans away the grime, and the mighty oceans and rivers that provide energy, power, food and life. God hovering over all, listening to the hearts of the people. As I water the garden, that water reminds me of God's presence, hovering, brooding, restoring and healing. As I water, I am daily reminded of the care and tenderness with which God in Christ enables me to flourish, even in rough terrain and hard city soil.
"The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in the field, which someone found and hid; then in joy goes and sells everything and buys that field." Matthew 13:44 God provides us treasures here on earth, and they are often hidden in plain sight, in plain, everyday activities and routines. God's treasures - peace, joy, love and justice - hover around us, and we can recognize the treasures we have, care tenderly for those treasures, or go seeking fame and fortune in the glitz of the world. In my very humble back yard, while I am watering my few plants, I am reminded of the great treasures in my own midst. Pearls of great price. I hear God respond to my prayers by demonstrating the love that is in my life - in family and community. In the constant faithfulness of friends who lift me up in prayer and who work for justice and inclusion, not by words, but in action. And in every breath I am reminded of the treasures of family and tribe - of loving, valiant, faithful people who never give up and who see the bigger picture.
May we today, as we go about our daily watering, our daily routines, be reminded of God's tender hovering in the midst of our daily work. We are treasures of great price to God, who is constantly present, watering us daily, offering healing, growth and strength, even in the driest of soils, even in the hardest of climates.