Yard work was until yesterday a necessary chore, just part of being a homeowner. But yesterday, as I raked up bags and bags of dead grass from our lawn, I realized I had stumbled across something therapeutic.
The last week or so has been rough. After a busy weekend hosting our friend Lophane from Haiti, all h*** broke loose. My friend Bud found his mom dead in her apartment. A couple of elderly members were admitted to the hospital in really bad shape. And another, David, was facing major surgery. I’ve dealt with all of these kinds of events before, but this time they just seemed to pile up in a way that left me feeling drained.
Monday morning found me in a pretty bad mood, as was pointed out to me by my neighbor. I came home early that day and to tackle the front yard raking and within half an hour, found myself feeling much better. The beautiful afternoon (we live in Florida, so some February days are indeed beautiful!), the rhythm of raking and the sense of accomplishment made me feel relaxed, refreshed and renewed.
Well, I thought, if this task eases the stresses of ministry, then I’m going to be out here everyday, doing something in the yard. If this helps me unwind, then I’ll be out in the yard every day if I can. Today I stopped and bought some flowers to replace everything that died in last winter’s freeze. I didn’t have a lot of time; just enough to get them all in pots and watered.
I don’t know if it’s being outdoors, or getting my hands dirty, or just focusing on something besides ministry, but I like it and I’ll be out there again tomorrow.