Tilling the Soil of the Heart

cross photo IMG_1985_zpsf39faa7e.jpg

This morning the sky is prophesying and the wind is bending the trees low with the promise of storm. I stand at the window and think of how the earth speaks—how we’ve learned the language of the skies and seas but how we so often miss the plaintive cries of our own language.
Last night he told me everything that is wrong. He spelled out all that is broken with his world and why it can’t be fixed. The more he talked the more hopeless it became and I was silent because, how many times have I said the wrong things? But he knows me well so he finished off with a defensive maneuver.
And prayer sure isn’t helping.”
The other day—at work—as I leaned over a patient’s bed to help him get more comfortable, the cross that I wear close to my heart slipped out from under my blouse and dangled loose. I saw his eyes fix on that small flash of light and then shift to my face.
That cross can’t save you, you know,” he said. “Only the cross of Calvary can.”
I lifted my hand and fingered those bits of intersecting metal. My husband gifted me with this necklace on a Mother’s Day a few years ago. It’s the second same one he’s bought for me—the first having been left and lost in a beach house at the Outer Banks years ago. It’s white gold, with one tiny diamond in the middle and one on each tip. His mother wears one exactly like it. I don’t like to take it off for fear of losing it. When I run and pray, I sometimes feel it burning under the thin cloth of my shirt.
Yes, I know,” I said, looking him in the eye. “But this cross reminds me of that one. Sometimes I need reminded.”
I remember how he closed his mouth tight then, and nodded a curt bob.
Sometimes I need reminded.
I finger the cross that sits close to my heart as I listen about the broken and the why it can’t be fixed. And even though I know this cross can’t save me…it does this time. Because it reminds me of those 400 years of silence from God between the prophet Malachi and John the Baptist’s words of preparation. And I wonder how this much shorter silence is preparing the soil of our hearts.
And because I need reminded—and he does too—that God moves, even in the silence…because sometimes we need reminded…
I take his hands. And we pray.
With the lovely Jen:

And Emily:


  1. smoothstones says

    I’ve thought, too, that prayer wasn’t helping. But down the pike I realized it helped a great deal. I think you’re right: it’s something we should do anyway and no matter what.

  2. Pam says

    This touches me deeply, Laura. Somehow reminds me of sharing Him with someone who recently died. And praying He understood that in the end. Thank you as always for such lovely thoughts.

  3. says

    Touched by your message. I too wear a cross – and don’t like to take it off. I know it is silly but it means so much to me – and the reminder is always there. Like “don’t forget this Jan”. I would love if you would link to my new Wednesday’s Word – spreading the word of God one word at a time.


  4. amyscanderson says

    The power of touch and the power of prayer~what a power-filled ending that’s more like a beginning here. That reminder of the cross is so needed partly because it’s a reminder of the resurrection that came next. Sometimes hope can seem dead, but the beauty of love taking a hand, holding it, and remembering the one who resurrects. Tender yet powerful, Laura.

  5. Emily Wierenga says

    hi beautiful friend… i love this… i love that you were able to minister to him, and that by falling–which is all we can ever do at the feet of Jesus–this cross made its way into this man’s heart. bless you. (ps. you linked this up with a link-up i posted earlier this week, versus this week’s post which is here, just in case you want more IP readers to find it: http://www.emilywierenga.com/2013/01/imperfect-prose-on-thursdays-light.html)

  6. SimplyDarelne says

    Me, too. Mine is a cross on a heart locket… reminds me that what I hold dearest is actually in His hands.

    That image, wow.

    BTW, loving you and yours with prayers. Still.


  7. says

    Loving you back, Darlene. Can you believe I lost my first cross like that that he gifted me with? It still makes me sad to think it. And when I called the place to ask if it’d been found, of course it was nowhere to be seen. I hope somebody extra nice has my first cross now…

  8. says

    Oh, goodness, I went to fix and spent a chunk of time catching up on your posts and just want to say how much I love you, lady. Your heart is so precious. Thank you for the ways you share. What a gift your words are, Em.

  9. says

    Thank you, C. I am not a very good one to wait in the silence, so this was a good reminder for me. Sometimes, I’m preaching to myself with these words. Does that ever happen to you?

  10. says

    Thank you for inviting me, Janis! I’m always behind on these things. I’ll have to stop by and check it out. Do you know what? Sometimes I take my cross off so I can put it back on. Don’t ever want to take these things for granted…

  11. says

    I do get discouraged sometimes, Brandee. But every time I am obedient–every time I take his hand and bow the head…we are blessed in that moment. That’s something, isn’t it?

  12. says

    Thanks, Jerry. I’ve just returned but my comment was gobbled up. So you might find me in the spam. Here is what I said:

    Oh, I’m glad I found you. This makes me happy. It is snowing here right now…soo cold too. Maybe a snowflake melting inside might melt some other things frozen there of late.

    It does sound like you are busy–doing good things. What a wonderful project to devote your time to. Praying it is a healing and beautiful process.

  13. it000016 says

    Dear Laura,

    I have nominated you for a Versatile Blogger Award . Congratulations
    and thank you for so faithfully teaching, uplifting and inspiring through your
    blogs! The originators of this award
    request that you post 7 random facts about yourself and the names of 15 other
    blogs you would like to nominate for this award. The Versatile Blogger Award
    button can be copied from my blog. Well done and God bless!

  14. says

    That’s funny because when I do have to take it off I have a terrible time getting back on. The clasp is so tiny and my fingers don’t work well and hubby has trouble with big fingers. So I try not to take it off. 🙂

  15. Tara_pohlkottepress says

    oh, this movement in silence. how cool metal against our skin can remind us of so much more. there is movement there too, and all around when we are quiet enough to find it. beautiful writing, as always.

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