Monday, March 14, 2011


This past week, I was involved in a mission trip. Towards the end of the week, a couple of us were working on the church grounds, weeding and throwing some anti-fire ant...powder stuff. I've never weeded before this past weekend-- growing up we never had a yard, we always lived in apartments. As this was a new experience for me, I didn't quite have a skilled hand at pulling out weeds and fell on my tush a couple of times. Guess it comes with the territory.

After we had finished the section, we walked the perimeter of the building, throwing anti-fire ant stuff that resembles cornmeal (you can tell I was getting hungry at this point). We threw it near the building and around pathways so that anthills wouldn't be formed and people would be safe from the barrage of fireants attacking exposed toes and unsuspecting heels. As I was tossing this powder and watching the wind take it further than I had tossed it, I had this mental image of an invisible wall being erected to protect against the devastation a fire ant colony could wreak. Then I was struck by the imagery and it's relevance to the Holy Spirit and prayer. I've never dedicated a plot of land or really gone on a specific prayer walk, but the physical act of tossing this powder, seeing it fall, knowing that it was working though it wouldn't be seen, gave me this beautiful image of what the Spirit does. I had this mental image where as a prayer is prayed, this impenetrable, glistening, glowing stronghold shoots up. Yet it's target is specific. It's the ultimate defense. Just like you and I and the neighbor's dog Scout can walk over and on this anti-fire ant powder and not be harmed, so too can we pass around and through uninhibited by the Stronghold. It does, however, act on fire ants and other agents of the Enemy's schemes. 

Also, the powder doesn't affect the plants that are already there. So flowers and shrubs and trees can continue growing. Which is why we weeded first--take out that which threatens the plants by competing for nutrients and ultimately killing the plants that were planted.  This I think can be metaphorical to the work of the Spirit in the process of purification. Rooting out the dangerous, harmful stuff. 

Anyway, these were just a few of my thoughts through the week. Hopefully as I process them some more, they will be more cohesive and meaningful.

I'll leave you with an image of some of the beautiful landscaping at the church, evidence of the arrival of spring.