The guys arrived early in the morning, ready for the day ahead.
We often had G and team come and tidy up things, but this day was different.
Planting, cutting back grasses and splitting them to replant – it was going to be a backyard blitz.
I felt so thankful for them coming and doing all those things that felt beyond me.
The 3 of them arrived and set straight to work.
G the leader.
G’s conscientious worker who I’d met a number of times…and L, the who was a mystery. I’d never met this guy before.
The moment I saw the way L walked up the hill, I felt a stirring in my heart.
I felt how he seemed to carry such a weight upon his shoulders. The kind of weight that comes with a ‘past’….past mistakes, past choices, regrets……

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Too busy to listen, I headed inside to spend an hour or so soaking with a friend.
The time was a delight and all too soon, she had to leave.
The day zipped by with lunch, bookwork and a plethora of other everyday tasks.
As I sat on the blue recliner paying some bills on my laptop, a gentle rattle of the windows played in the background.

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The sound got my attention. Craig was motioning for me to come out and help him position the new plants for the guys to plant.
As I walked plants up the hill towards the new garden, I saw G and L planting some of the grasses.
Dirt came out.
Plant went in.
Dirt filled the gaps.

They’d cut back the overgrown grasses which had reached 10ft in places. Putting the cuttings on the bonfire pile and split a number of others to replant.

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As I watched them at work, I knew in my spirit, God had something He wanted me to say to L.
Dirt came out.
Plant went in.
Dirt filled the gaps.

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They had quite the system.
Should I wait?
How do I give the word Lord, when they’re in the middle of working?
Just begin….
So I did…..from that place of compassion, that He had given me in the morning, I shared some gentle encouragements for this man.
Dirt came out.
Plant went in.
Dirt filled the gaps.
Shared some more.
G encouraged L to keep working while he listened.Telling me at the same time, that L was going to end up in tears with what God had me saying.

(I hope that is a good thing, I questioned internally.)


So I shared some more, whatever He put on my heart. Words only for L from His loving, redemptive Father.
As I spoke out these few lines, the tears began to well for this precious fella.
Dirt comes out.
Plant goes in.
Dirt fills the gaps.

L kept shaking his head, like WOW!
Both G and L looked at one another and had a laugh, at how God was speaking directly to the heart of L’s life.
It was time.
Time for Chapter Two to begin. The page was turned. God had a fresh new thing for L if he wanted it.

Just like the grasses, some parts were thrown into the fire, but others were kept and replanted in good soil.

It was a simple but powerful exchange.
L spoke out his awe of God’s goodness.

Praise You God! Praise You! Free L from his burdensome pack, lift the weight and let him fly once again!

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For me….it was but
A little time, A little courage. A few lines. And God poured out a love gift to a man who didn’t think he warranted it.

How many of us don’t think we deserve good things because our past mistakes are so BIG?

But then God brings along a stranger, someone who doesn’t know our past….our muck ups, our failures.

What a delight!
What a privilege to be a part of what God wanted to do.
As I wrote out the few things I remembered, so that L could take them home and ponder them.

As I wrote, I felt Father added to the first lot of encouragement…..
“L has forgiven others.
L has been forgiven by Me.
It’s time for L to forgive himself.”

I know those tears are going to pour out as he reads that too….it just about brought me to tears too.

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As I handed L the paper, I saw him walk away with a spring in his step. He walked tall.

The weight which was so prevalent in the morning, was completely absent.

And for the first time in ages,L could see how this past was a stepping stone to a higher place with God.

How many times are we kinder to others, than we are to ourselves?

BUT….God has plans. Redemptive plans to prosper, not to harm, to give a future and a hope! Jer 29:11

God bless the broken.
God bless the ones who have split apart in life.
God bless the ones who are desperate for redemption, but have no idea how to move past their past.
In Jesus name, there is hope and a future.

Just like the grasses, some parts will be cut off. Some will be burned or thrown out. Others will be replanted – creating an opportunity for a fresh new beginning in good soil.

Lord, let us thrive in good soil. Cut away the things that hold us back. Burn the things that have no place in our future. Let the replanting begin Lord, let the time of flourish start today.

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