I stick my hand into my compost pile to pull back a space to dump some more fruit peelings, coffee grinds, egg shells, and vegetables.
It’s so hot in there under the leaves and grass that I actually pull my hand back in shock.
(Aerobic bacteria that’s breaking down my bucket of offerings releases so much heat as it works. Decomposition isn’t easy. It’s hot work. It’s a smoldering mound that you can’t use for a long time.)
“It’s working! It’s really working!” I tell my chemist husband who agrees it shocked him the first time he felt the heat of composting. The heat is a sign of conversion: what we put into the pile transforms into nutrient-rich soil that allows our garden to bear glorious fruit.
In the process of breaking things down inside my own heart–of purifying, refining, and becoming a useful vessel for divine activity, I remember that in that dark space of change, it’s real work. There’s a heat involved in that refiner’s fire–that compositing bin–that lets me know I’m changing.
It might take a long time, but I can feel the heat in my own heart.
Don’t you love spiritual illustrations from nature?