Her hands are worn and weathered with the soil.
If you walk into the little white country church, she sits in the back pew, to the left; sometimes alone or with children; most often with her grandson. I don’t know where he would be without her.
One time I sat in her home with our baby, sunken deep into her living room couch. I asked questions because I needed to learn. About so many children and an only love buried and how they first made it work to get by. She told me simple stories of love. Loving with basketball games, loving with nachos and cheese, loving with pies.
More recently and most ridiculous, is this story of butternut squash. For two weeks, I scoured grocery stores for butternut squash, when there was none to be found. But why would she know that. Then out of nowhere, she has bags of squash so heavy that the bags are breaking. She gives them to my in-laws who give them to me. And I can’t keep from laughing at God’s goodness.
When you plant seeds deep within the soil, you have no idea what will become of them. You work hard with your hands and no one sees. You don’t work for approval. You have no idea what will become of these plants. You cannot see the end from the beginning. You work anyway. You love anyway.
Maybe extravagant love is just this. It’s the ordinary kind, worn and weathered. My Lord dried feet with a towel. My Lord taught others using seeds and a lamp and salt. My Lord told stories. My Lord cried. My Lord sat with children and ate bread with friends.
Maybe it’s not that we love much, it’s that we love small. Love in the ordinary. Love in the nondescript. And maybe then the Gardener will take what is meager and multiply it till bags are breaking.
For those whom we love and for recipients unknown.
With Love (the small kind),