Monday, May 23, 2016

Have You Been Shredded? (Or, Another reason Why I Love Compost)

Of course you have. We all have been left in a heap after someone runs us through the shredder for the sake of their own relief. That's the kind of shredding I'm talking about...and anyone, (not just those involved in the adoption triad), who has ever had to deal with the 'Big R', (Rejection), is doubly susceptible to the the wounds shredding leaves.

How do we put Humpty-Dumpty together again?

Picture this: A pile of shredded wood lies beneath the wood shredder. The shredder, relieved of  it's dreadful deed, now stands still and silent. The pieces of wood beneath try to gather themselves back into what they were before the shredding, but they don't even have the energy to move. They are still alive, but in different form.

All the kings horses and all the kings men can't return this pile into the tree it once was.

As the pieces lie there confused and wounded in thousands of places, they begin to break down. They were created to be able to heal and so they focus their energy towards that, but to the naked eye, no healing can be seen. The pieces panic inwardly, fearing their final death.

But it is not death that awaits.

It's transformation.

This is the kind of transformation that can only come of being shredded. Of breaking down from one form and becoming a new form. I believe this transformation begins best and most truly when we invite Jesus to be our Savior. He's not a king with king's horses...He's THE KING with HIS HORSES, and there's a universe of difference between the two.

A lot of people think when we ask Jesus in, everything just...BOOM!...changes overnight. But anyone who's walked through depression and anger and the host of other negative emotions as a Christian, knows there's some kind of wrong thinking in that thinking. While our spirit does change immediately, our problems, or others that come to take their place, will always be in our world as long as we're a part of this world. And if we choose to leave this world of our own accord, there will be no relief...SO, we are left with this mind-numbing problem... We have to deal with being shredded. (UGH!)

What? Someone else maliciously shredded me and I have to deal with it?
Uh...Yeah. Bummer, right?

But you see, our Maker made us in such a way, that He can work in us even while we're lying in what we think is a 'useless heap', torn into thousands of tiny bits and pieces. And if we just sit still and trust Him, some amazing things will happen organically, because with Him in our lives, we can reform into what He intended from the beginning...way back before He placed this spirit He created that I call 'me' to be in that womb... (Because you see, He knew us BEFORE He put us in the womb. ~Jeremiah 1:5a "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you...")

Let's go back to our shredded wood pile...

At first there seems to be no real difference, but give it a few days, then plunge a hand into the middle of it. What do you feel? (If you're a gardener, you already know.) You feel heat. This 'dead' wood is producing living heat. With time, the heat grows in intensity. If the shreds could talk, they'd probably scream out in pain...and yet, they don't move. They stay there, they allow the heat. If they could think, maybe the self-conversation would go something like this: "I have to stay here until the process is done. I have to stay here through this nearly unbearable heat. It won't consume me, even though it feels like it will. If I want to become what I am to become, I have to let the heat do its work in me."

After a while, the heat grows so intense that there IS outward evidence of something taking place within...Ah! There is life, after all! Walk by the pile on a cool day and the evidence permeates the very air around it as visible steam rises from its midst. Yes, the evidence is there...something is happening on the inside. And the ironic thing is that we can pull such hope from that understanding, yet the reason for that visible sign is the breaking down of what's beneath the surface of that pile.

Knowing this, we maybe take a second look. Maybe all that steam isn't so great after all, especially if what it signifies is something becoming less. Isn't that what breaking down does to us...makes us less?

Yes, it does.

So, do we rethink our views on the greatness of the visible steam or do we rethink our views about breaking down? We are at the cusp of something important here. The choice we make in our thinking matters. Immensely.

If we choose to believe that the steam is not evidence of something good; if we choose to believe that breakdown is bad, then that shredded wood is indeed, useless. Might as well burn it, right?

But if we stand on our belief that the steam is evidence of breakdown and breakdown is good because it produces something of value in the end, the whole picture changes, doesn't it?

Did you know that the same thing going on with this shredded wood pile happens with cast out and piled up manure? In time, the heat produced by this 'useless' product turns it into something else...SO MUCH SO, that when the process is completely finished, the manure has a pleasing aroma. (If the smell is bad, the product is not finished, so don't gauge the accuracy of this analogy by the stinky stuff you may have bought in bag from a source that's in a hurry to make money.) The truth is, you can't hurry perfection.

So how long does it take, this process of becoming something useful from something discarded? In nature, we call the process 'composting'. Composting shredded wood takes a minimum of three months, but that's when we're pushing the hurry button. Six months is better, and a year is better, still.

I don't know that as humans, we're ever completely done 'composting'. But with patience, our shreds will be transformed into something useful for the nourishment of others. Of this, I am certain. And when the time is right for this to begin, there will be signs and others will recognize the signs as a confirmation to us of what God's Spirit is speaking to our spirit.

Back to the pile...
What happens in all this heat? Oh, the amazing things that take place!!
Bugs that were in the wood when it was in its former form as a tree, die.
Viruses that plagued the tree, causing it to turn its energies toward the same problem over and over and over again, die.
This 'slow fermentation' intensifies the mineral properties of the wood, bringing out the best of its DNA.

It becomes something it never could have become if it had stayed a tree...if it had never been shredded.

NOW, after going through the heat, it has become a product of great value. People will come in groves and pay good money for just a little bit of it. Why? Because now, it has special properties it didn't have before...

~It protects the precious plants in gardens from...get this...heat. And yes, cold, too.
~It helps keeps water in during dry spells and absorbs excess water during wet spells. (Protects against excess.)
~It imparts nutrients into the soil.
~It builds the soil.
~Eventually, it breaks down so completely that it is what we commonly call, 'dirt'. But everyone who gardens has a different name for this particular type of dirt.... To us, it is so valuable that we call it 'Black Gold'.
~By the time it's life truly is spent, it isn't really spent because it has become a part of the soil it has enhanced, the plants it has enhanced, maybe even another tree that will one day go through the shredder and face the heat.

But that new 'tree-shredded-to-chips' will make it through the heat because it has good DNA.

Just like me. Just like you.

Because no matter what our roots, (and I'm not in any way undermining the importance of knowing our roots), whether we know our roots or not, whether we discover them to be 'good' or 'bad', we all have, at our root of roots, the best DNA known to man...and that's the DNA of our Maker.

As we journey through the sawing-downs of life... some call it 'carrying our cross'...we have to face shredding in one way or another, we have to face heat in one way or become who we are to be. It's a necessary thing, but we don't have to do it alone. In fact, it's in the trying to go it alone that we may make that awful choice to burn our chips rather than have them become 'black gold'.

My last 'shredding' took place in March. It was awful. I cried out to God in a way I haven't in a loooong time. I haven't had to. But someone I love dearly had, out of their own pain, thrown me into their high-powered shredder. I found myself in a thousand pieces on the ground as that person, like the shredder that had done it's job, walked away seemingly unscathed. (I say 'seemingly' because no matter how much we want to believe we can, we cannot bring harm to others without also harming ourselves.)

Funny thing, my pastor had told me just weeks before that I needed to be ready for battle because the enemy (satan) would hate and try to keep "The Adoptee Heart" from 'becoming'. [<My word.] And funnier thing, the attack had come as a direct result of my following Jesus into a place I didn't want to go in regard to my own adoption story. It took every last ounce of courage God gave me and I still nearly balked. Then, as He walked me through obedience, the hail!

But my Savior saves me all the time. He saved me from despair through His Word during that phase of my composting. The heat was so intense, I was tempted to give it all up. The hope and dream of helping others through the rip-tides of this 'adoption thing', the reality of what the truths of adoption mean to me and millions of others, the desire to bring awareness to the world and the Christian world in particular.  I KNOW there's more heat ahead, but He will be faithful to bring me...and you...through to that place where we turn into gold.

I printed and carried the words God gave me that day,( through my open Bible that I did not remember opening to that page), in my purse for over a month. Every time the temptation to fear and lament over the words that had shredded my core rose up, I pulled out those words and read them. Initially, God gave those words in comfort to the Israelite nation in speaking to them of their beloved Jerusalem, but that day, the words and comfort were for me. Today, I feel strongly led to share them with you. I pray as I write this that your heart will see the meaning God saved for your understanding TODAY through His words :

Isaiah 66: 9 and 11-14a

:9 "Do I bring to the moment of birth and not give delivery?" says the Lord.
"Do I close up the womb when I bring to delivery?" says your God.
:11 "For you will nurse and be satisfied at her comforting breasts; you will drink deeply and delight in her overflowing abundance."
:12 For this is what the Lord says: "I will extend peace to her like a river, and the wealth of nations like a flooding stream; you will nurse and be carried on her arm and dandled on her knees.
:13 As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you; and you will be comforted..."
:14 "When you see this, your heart will rejoice and you will flourish like grass; the hand of the Lord will be made known to his servants..."


So, how do we put Humpty-Dumpty together again? We don't. We let THE KING re-form Humpty into something maybe, scrambled eggs and cheese...minus the hard outer shell.

May His peace be your peace today!


No comments:

Post a Comment