Morning Meditation on waiting


The Hermitage

May 24, 2021



A Morning Meditation on Waiting


This morning the Lord gave me an image of our recent journeys...


a grist mill—

or on a smaller scale—a metate.


Grist, as you probably know, is grain that has been separated from the chaff. Matthew and Luke both talk about why this is necessary in the third chapters of their Gospels..


We are becoming the finest wheat.


The process is...what word shall I use that isn't fraught with pain?


There is none.


In olden days (and even now in some cultures) after being cut with the scythe, the grain is spread on the threshing floor where the winnowing process begins—beating the stalks to separate the grain from the stems. Then the grains are scooped up in large flat baskets and repeatedly tossed into the air so the beating will loosen the husk, and the wind...


Ah, yes. The wind…the stronger the better…blows away the chaff. Useless chaff. Or is it? It has protected the grain in its vulnerable growing stage. But now, as painful as it is to leave the old behind, it has served its purpose. And once separated, will be burned "in an unquenchable fire."


But the image is not over. Think of those who are doing with winnowing. Can you imagine what the winnower is experiencing? Aching arms, heat, clothes and hair filled with itchy, scratchy waste. Ah, the joy of a bath at the end of a long hard day.


But I digress.


Having been separated from its protective shield, it is now vulnerable to the most onerous part of the process…the grinding.


Huge mill stones—grinding,

grinding,

grinding—endlessly and relentlessly

grinding the kernels

ever smaller,

ever smaller,

ever smaller.

Its destiny?

the finest wheat.

fit for a King’s table.

Staff of life,

Joy of a gourmet feat

or….

unleavened reminder of the Lord’s sacrifice.


And what control did the grain of wheat have over its destiny?

None.


The Master of the harvest

planted,

watered,

harvested,

purified

and selected

only the finest


to be baked in the fire of the hearth finally to be presented to the King.


And then…

And then…

A sudden shift in imagery.


The answer to our prayers and supplications—


(Those) who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.

Isaiah 40:31[1]


----------------------- [1] https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isaiah+40%3A31&version=RSV

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