Words, single words, their singular shapes, lines, curves; their meanings that splatter themselves on the window of your soul like a raindrops, exploding. With multiple words we draw up a sentence that conveys a feeling, produces a spark, spurs an emotion, ignites a flaming soul. But one word—say one word, and what do you see? what do you think?
Say one word to me, and an image is drawn up in my head, the same image for the same word, and then thoughts come, and more images, and they play off each other, streaming seamlessly like a movie. It’s like watching a movie. And all because of a single word. I hear one word, and I might know its literal denotative meaning, but what leaps into the face of my mind and imbeds itself in my soul is the connotative meaning.
I tend to things. Things tend to me. I am tended. Things are tended. Tend. I tend, because he tends.
My soul is being nurtured, honed, beautified. And through this glorious, painful, burning process of sanctification, a broken, shattered, rotten garden is reviving, the stream is flowing, and there is holiness in this place. This is the nature of tending. Where there was fear is reconciliation, total unity, and we abide.
To not only live, inhabit, be in a place, but to thrive there. To rest there, to gather strength and sustenance.
Feeding on grace.
The mental images come up, the movie plays, fast-forward smooth, because my mind moves like the wind.
…Time yet for a hundred indecisions
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
Before the taking of toast and tea. (T.S. Eliot, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock)
This is how fast we think. That in one minute I can explore the logistics of a decision, and decide for it, and also decide against it after weighing the pros and cons again. Every second is filled with images, with thoughts moving thousands of miles per hour across a limitless landscape, gathering and reaping.
Allow myself to be tended; allow the hand to lay heavy on my shoulders; allow my body to bow before holiness; allow my soul to be nurtured toward holiness. Thigmotropism—an organism’s growth response towards touch. Phototropism. An organism’s growth response towards light. God’s touch, and his emanating light. I feel it, see it, and my soul is enlarged to receive more love, more joy, more spiritual gifts, to empty more and to fill more. I grow to conform to his image (Romans 8:29).
He is tending me. Taking care of me, and using sandpaper to smooth the rough surface, rounding the corners. Being tended is being sanctified. We are not allowed to rot away and wallow in our blood (Ezekiel 16:6).