This past weekend my family and I travelled up to see my brother and sister graduate from University in Sault Ste. Marie. It was a wonderful weekend, we had so much fun and I’m so proud of them both.
Of course while I was away there was a heat wave here at home. My garden sprung to life while I was away and so today I thought I would check out the progress in the clear light of day as we got home fairly late last night. The change was phenomenal.
My clematis was gorgeous and in full bloom
My tomatoes exploded
My herbs were happy
…and the bunny was happy.
This bunny is one of a family of bunnies. I know what you’re thinking. Bunnies aren’t good because they eat your strawberries. You weren’t thinking that? I was. They eat my strawberries! Nevertheless they are in our yard this year more than any other and I discovered why. While we were away this happened to my grass:
A patch of clover decided to multiply while we were away. We’ve been battling this clover for a while but it’s gotten out of hand lately. My husband has been working hard and removing it. He is constantly outside digging it up, spraying some kind of natural iron compound on it, yelling at it and giving it the look. So far nothing has worked.
The bunnies love clover. They come into the yard and eat away all day. It’s paradise for them. Unbeknownst to us we’ve created a perfect paradise for bunnies free of dogs, quiet and removed from traffic with plenty of their favorite foods.
As I stood outside marveling at the determination of the clover to survive and the never ending stream of bunnies which seem to find their way into my yard I got to thinking. Lately I’ve read quite a number of blogs by people in their thirties who are searching for a church and desperate to find a place where they fit in. They long to find an environment they feel comfortable in. They long to find a place that offers community, is recognizable to them and doesn’t exist simply for themselves.
Unfortunately they are struggling to find a place that they recognize as church and I’m not really surprised. Church as most of us practice it today is unrecognizable to most people in their thirties. There is no organization that they belong to, no place they go where people behave as the church does. Meetings are held at coffee houses or at a round table. Gatherings are informal and relationship is the primary focus. People come to church expecting to find relationship and connection but do not see it because we do not present it in a way they understand or can connect with.
My backyard is an accidental paradise for the bunnies. A safe haven from the storms of the world. A place where they are fed, nourished, protected and given rest. Maybe we need to create an intentional paradise for the people of this world. Maybe we should be creating safe places for people to escape the storms of this world. We should feed them, nourish them, protect them, empower them and allow them to be.
If we did that imagine what a ministry that would be, what opportunities we would have to serve others in our world. I’d love to know what you think. What would your paradise look like? What do you need in a church?