Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transparent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world. ~ Sara Ban Breathnach

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Feasting With the Trees

For in the true nature of things, if we rightly consider, every green tree is far more glorious than if it were made of gold and silver. ~ Martin Luther

I Will Delight by Fernando Ortega

I will delight in the law of the Lord
I will meditate day and night
Then like a tree firmly planted
I will be grounded in your word...

I have been dragging my feet to finish Macrina's book, A Tree Full of Angels because....I don't have a book to blog with!!!  Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Today, I decided to share Macrina's thoughts from page 152 of her book.  This journal entry is entitled: The harvest of beauty; feasting with the trees.

I love trees.  Earlier this year I posted a picture of a hard maple that has stood outside my kitchen window long before it was my kitchen window. She's aged and not in good health.  I am thankful for each season of her life. Thus, Macrina's thoughts on trees and community resonated with me. She writes:
"A community of empty trees sways outside my window, dancing in the early morning light. Revering them with awe during my morning coffee, I ponder. 
How many rays of sunlight have slipped through your wooden fingers, delighting me with golden steams of warmth and awakening me to the new day? How many parties have you hosted for the squirrels  watching their restless litte bodies leaping through your limbs - catching them, holding them, and being their support? How often have you welcomed home the birds nesting in your branches, lending them your slender arms, listening to their song, singing with them as you sway?"
I smiled, reading Macrina's reflection and I thought how a community of trees does not judge or create boundaries, limiting who comes into their sanctuary. I thought how they not only welcome new life into their midst, but as Macrina notes...they join in with them as they sing and praise and play.

Some days I think the church could learn a lot from observing trees and then reflecting on how they could model similar behavior.
"Your green leaves have long ago waved a fond good-bye, retuning to the earth to nourish you still more. Yet even in your barrenness, how beautiful you stand! You've held your share of beauty every season, and now with winter's icy breath almost upon you, you seem content. Content as when you wore your coat of green! Content as when you wore your bright and fiery robes! You stand unfretting and untroubled, a community of trees."
This morning, one of my Facebook friends asked, What makes you happy? I read through the comments and thought for a moment then wrote, A quiet day with no agenda.

Now, it is me who can glean a lesson from the trees! Macrina offers me such a wonderful image of grace, of resting as she considers a barren tree.

I've not viewed a barren tree through such a lens.  I absolutely hate the cold and barrenness of winter! I detest ice!!! I'm not crazy about snow when there is more than 2 inches. In other words, I become a Winter Grump.  I have to work hard to keep smiling behind my grumpiness.

I'm already experiencing a sadness as I watch leaves beginning to fall.  I wonder if it is possible for me to view the upcoming barrenness as my "quiet day with no agenda"?

I wonder if it is possible for me to view the upcoming barrenness with a sense of joining in some needed rest?

"A community of trees! A contemplative community, making holy space and time. I want to be, like you...I yearn, like you, to embrace all the colors of my life. I yearn to be the great adorer that you are. To bend and bow and sway! To stand in beauty through all the seasons of my heart!"
Wow...this is an image for me to hold as I consider my beloved and aging hard maple.  At this point in my life, honestly I can identify more with that maple than I can the trees I have set out since living here.  Most are 30 years old, young and spry in tree years! Yet, in their midst stands my favorite tree, an aging hard maple.

It isn't just me, there are many within my community of faith who struggle seeing the "golden" within their Golden Years.  It is easy to focus on aches and pains... to focus on those things that I/we can no longer do easily...if at all.

Macrina has offered me grace moments to simply sit within the sunlight of God's world this morning, acknowledging that I am a part of his creation. He has blessed me with a brain to think and to observe, and reflect.....

Sarah Young's devotion in Jesus Calling asked me to:
"Relate to Me as creature to Creator, sheep to Shepherd, subject to King, clay to Potter. Allow Me to have My way in your life. Rather than evaluating My ways with you, accept them thankfully. The intimacy I offer you is not an invitation to act as if you were My equal. Worship Me as King of kings while walking hand in hand with Me down the path of Life."

Okay, Lord, I get the message. Help me to let go of my judgements I make regarding my life and the life of others. By the power of your Spirit, help me to avoid words like "bad", "good", "sad"... and simply be present within your grace. A friend shared with me the other day how an individual she know's responds "I am blessed" when ever he is asked "how are you..."

Gosh, God! How might that begin changing my lens as I view myself, others .... the world? How might that help me to sway, bow, bend like the trees. How might that help me breath...making holy space and time, just as your...hard maple outside my kitchen window makes holy space and time?

I am blessed!

Almighty and powerful Spirit! Transform me, help me to model the grace and the wisdom of the trees outside my window. Work within me, open my heart so that I might respond, "I am blessed!" and live into that reality! AMEN!

Who Am I by Casting Crowns.

Many Blessings ~ Sandi

1 comment:

  1. Love the images and thoughts of trees, people, church. It is amazing what God provides for us if we can see it through new eyes/lenses.