No one can stem the tide; now watch it run to meet the river pouring to the sea! And in the meeting tumult what a play of waves and twinkling water in the sun! Ordained by powers beyond our ken, beyond all wisdom, all our trickery, immutable it comes, it sweeps, it ebbs and clears the filthiness and froth of men. ~Jane Clement “No One Can Stem the Tide”
If one were to spend all their time just looking at news headlines, it would appear humankind is made up of nothing but “filthiness and froth.” Whether it is politics or entertainment or sports – there is little that is pristine, selfless or wise. We are all covered in the mess we’ve made of ourselves.
No one will be able to stem the tide when its cleansing power comes, nor should we. We are overdue for some serious sweeping up.
You can change the world with a hot bath, if you sink into it from a place of knowing you are worth profound care, even when you are dirty and rattled. Who knew? ~Anne Lamott from Small Victories
As a farmer, I spend at least a part of every day muddy and up to my elbows in muck. I call my barn life “the real stuff” when the rest of my day is spent dealing with “virtual stuff ” which leaves me dirty and rattled nonetheless. I prefer the real over virtual muck although it smells worse, leaves my fingernails hopelessly grimy and is obvious to everyone where I’ve been.
The stains of the rest of my day are largely invisible to all but me and far harder to scrub away.
It is so much easier to deal with the barnyard over bureaucracy; what soils us can be washed off and we’re restored for another day of wallowing in our muck boots. On the farm is the grace of drawing up clean warm water, soaping with the suds that truly cleanse, a sinking down into a deep tub of renewal.
God knows well what a washing we need.
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We do not want merely to see beauty…
we want something else which can hardly be put into words-
to be united with the beauty we see,
to pass into it,
to receive it into ourselves,
to bathe in it,
to become part of it. ~C.S. Lewis from The Weight of Glory
Each day brings headlines that tear at us, pull us down and rub us into the mud. We are grimy by association, sullied and smeared.
Yet in our state of disgrace, Beauty is offered up to us.
In His last act with those He loved, Jesus shared Himself through a communal meal,
then washed and toweled their dirty feet clean, immersing them, despite their protests, in all that is beautiful and clean.
He took on and wore their grime.
It is now our turn to wash away the dirt from whoever is in need. He showed us how.