Recently it came to my attention, as only the angels can do, the shovel was a symbol for me to dig deeper. My neighbor had done some gardening work; a win-win as he made extra cash, and I had help with the heavy labor, pruning trees, planting bushes, mulching flower beds. He asked if he could borrow my shovel to take on another gardening job for the day. That was over three weeks ago, and when questioned about the shovel, he keeps saying he has to go and get it. Patience is running out as I wonder if it is in some distant land far beyond time and space.
I know it's not about the shovel, but a lack of respect he has shown towards me, which always presents an opportunity to forgive and forget with the help of the Holy Spirit. There have been other occasions where he has received help, shows little gratitude, but returns for more favors. My possessiveness over a shovel was robbing me of peace and joy. It's not my favorite shovel anyway, but... An angel thought came with a message, Bury the shovel or it will bury you! I got it! I'd been working old ground, digging myself in deeper each day.
While I was writing about this in my journal on New Year's Day, I shouldn't have been surprised when my brother texted me with thoughts for a Happy New Year. His timing was perfect. I told him his angel with the shovel was causing me to dig deeper. He wrote back, don't shovel manure, that was his job. But that's what makes things grow, I tossed it back. We were digging the shovel jokes, and I got the message. Bury the old and don't dig it up and dump it into your new year.
I'm reminded of the Master Gardener who appeared to Mary Magdalene following the crucifixion. She went to the tomb and finding it empty, began to cry, for she thought they had taken his body away. In her sorrow, "she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus... supposing him to be the gardener." (John 20:14-15) When he calls her by name, she recognizes him.
I like the image of Christ with the shovel greeting us at our darkest hour of despair. Sorrow turns into joy, when we turn around and face the Light.
Love and joyful blessings,