Horse Manure or Miracle Grow
By Donna McCrary –
“Miracle grow that is a fabulous name for it… we just called it horse manure!”
Edna was one of my favorite patients, diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. During our horticulture therapy session, we were diligently planting spring flowers in the open courtyard. I was reminiscing with Edna about her childhood growing up on a farm. We were chatting about chickens, planting corn, and growing green beans and squash. Edna was deep in conversation describing silly stories of her childhood days. Not all the stories made logical sense, because her concept of time was distorted by the disease. But on that day, time was of little concern to Edna. Excitement beamed from her face as she mindlessly fumbled with the soil in the oversized container. She “ooohed “ and “ahhhed” at each colorful flower as if experiencing it for the first time.
As our gardening session ended, I casually reminded my assistant to add the Miracle Grow fertilizer to each pot. Edna overheard this simple request and in an instant her face lit up with the most astonishing expression. She grabbed my arm and exclaimed in childlike amazement, “Miracle Grow! Ohh, Miracle Grow! That is the best name ever! We just called it horse manure when I was growing up!” Laughter exploded from our group as Edna proudly wheeled herself back inside, amazed at this newfound revelation. Miracle Grow or horse manure – it was the same to Edna!
Edna was a precious soul. She struggled daily to remember her name. She would often be found wandering the halls searching for her “home.” More than once, I was a long lost sister playing outside in the garden with her. But on this particular day, Edna, in her weakest mind, had a very wise and profound revelation. Sometimes what we see as stinky horse manure God uses to make miracles grow!
It is the stinky messes that refine us into the image of Christ. It is the stinky messes that God uses to fertilize our relationship with Him. It is the stinky messes that bring us to our knees in utter desperation. It is the stinky messes that cultivate in us a beautiful image of Christ! My challenge to you today is to chuckle like Edna at this new and most amazing name for all your stinky “horse manure” messes: Miracle Grow.
PRAYER: Father, today help me be thankful for all the “stinky messes” that are a part of my life. God, please continue to refine me into the image of Your Son. Draw me closer through a deeper understanding of Your love, grace, and mercy in middle of my mess.
BIBLE VERSE: “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith – of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire- may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed” (1 Peter 1:7 NIV).