The room where I live is a green smelling room. There is a powdery sort of warmth that I can sink into.
Most people want to curl into a ball and shrivel when they get back home, but I am the opposite.
There is just too much outside sometimes. Screaming, kicking, yelling. Catcalls that parade as compliments. Dishonesty disguised as individuality. Rocks and thorns and birds and burning, dry sun and nothing alive.
But the room where I live is a green smelling room. Flowers spring from the floors and the walls. Fresh fruit grows.
Most of all,
“Welcome home,” says He who tends the garden.
Let’s say that your heart is a room and someone lives in it. You’re like a property owner and you’re renting the space out. The only difference is, property owners aren’t directly connected to the property they own.
You, however, are directly affected by the state of your heart, by what’s in it. Your emotions, which bleed across your thoughts and actions. Your identity. What populates your body, mind, and soul as you wake up in the morning. What seeps out of you to your surroundings as you go about your day. What weighs upon you as you go to sleep at night.
Who are you going to let live in there?
I think that’s a choice we can make.
All kinds of hopefuls line up to take residence. School. Culture. People we like. Fame. Others’ opinions of us. Grudges. Money. Sex. Pride.
Actually, they probably don’t line up. They probably barge right on in, or maybe fight each other in the doorway. Maybe we’ve all had one or more of those often rowdy and troublesome residents occupying our inner room.
The thing is, they really trash the place, don’t they? Loud and crazy in all the wrong ways. Lazy when they shouldn’t be. Partiers who have no respect for who you are–how lovingly your room was made or who it belongs to. They stay up late, yell and scream at odd hours, trash the place and refuse to clean, leave cracks and holes and horrible graffiti lies on the walls.
These manifest on you and in you. Tears, anxiety, depression, self-doubt. Panic. Being unable to trust anyone. A whole slew of things that words cannot even begin to describe. It takes a lot of time and effort to clean things up and patch up the walls.
And then there’s the one who always waits outside the door. You never see him, but he’s always there. He’s easier to see when you’ve become a bit disenchanted with all the other potential residents.
So maybe you let him in. Maybe he comes in, and he cries, looking at the horrible state your room is in. His heart breaks for you as he sees how broken yours is. But he doesn’t complain.
“How can I live in this dump??”
He never says that.
“Okay,” He says, and gladly takes up residence in your torn up room.
He starts by cleaning things up. Clean, white walls, all patched up. Trash swept away, with not a speck remaining. Safe, comforting.
And then, He plants a garden.
Sometimes, you drop by and you’re excited because you see how awesome everything is getting. After a while, you get used to it and you don’t really see the progress; and you wonder, “What’s He doing in there? Is He even in there?”
But little by little, roots are forming. They come first. And then, you start seeing flowers. They’re beautiful, and your heart starts to lighten, breathe a little. Everything looks a little brighter.
Finally, there’s fruit. It nourishes you and strengthens you.
Life’s storms come, but you’re healthy enough to weather them.
Most importantly, life flows through you and from you in all that you do. Your thoughts are nourishing, your actions are loving. You are whole. You are rooted in life–the push and pull of circumstance no longer have you swinging back and forth.
And He stays there, tending to the garden, welcoming you home, eating with you when you’re hungry and thirsty because there’s no life–nothing substantial–out there in the wilderness.
Maybe he’s knocking, right now.