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'August-grass' hearts
August 24, 2009
by Rev. Mark Little, Stockholm Lutheran Church, Cokato

It is August – the wonderful time of the year for the Cokato Corn Carnival and various fairs and other town celebrations. The gardens are overflowing with the fruit of God’s creation.

Amidst these wonderful times, the days of an average August often become the thick, heavy, hot “dog days” of summer, and the grass on lawns, in parks, and in ditches dries up.

The grass can get so dry that it actually changes how it looks. It gets gray-green in color, and it becomes “scratchy” and pokes at your legs – no longer any fun to play or picnic on.

Sometimes, people are like grass. There are times when we become a bit like that sticky, itchy August grass. We may have been through a hard time. We may have journeyed through an illness, death, loss of a job or a relationship . . . or we have simply slowly drifted away from the Lord of life.

When this happens, our life can slowly drift into the “dog days of the soul.” We feel like August grass, and our heart feels parched, dried up, with little life left.

But there is Good News!

Concerning grass: God has designed grass to go into what computer people might call “standby” mode. God has created grass so that, when hard living conditions come, it doesn’t just keel over and die. The roots of the grass remain alive – capable of renewal – waiting for refreshment.

Concerning people: God has made people to be amazingly resilient – capable of dealing with a lot of hard living conditions as well . . . and capable of being brought back to fullness of life. God has planted his Spirit in us in baptism – and God nurtures and waters that baptism with the desire that it grow into fullness of faith.

If someone is not baptized, God still is always drawing those people to himself, that they may know fullness of life through faith in Jesus.

God has a bottomless spring of refreshment for us – promises of fullness of life, joy, and peace for all who will turn to him. Prayer, public worship, spending time with faithful people, reading his refreshing Word – these are all ways that God’s refreshing Life gets through to a thirsty heart.

And, God can also surprise parched hearts which have not looked to him for years.

God has good things, fullness of life in mind for you. May you begin, or continue, to open your heart to the Lord of life, who wants to bring “green-grass” refreshment “to every August-grass” heart.