For days Dean Robert taught about trees. Not Christmas trees but the ones we live among throughout the year. England abounds in astonishing varieties.
Today, as the Dean began morning prayers from the Canterbury gardens he simply stated, “This morning I sit beneath a Crabapple tree. It’s leafless now but as I look up, its branches are making beautiful patterns above me.” Fascinating.
During winter months, I sometimes long for the leaves of spring to break up the bleakness. Too often it’s easier to focus on what isn’t than to appreciate what is, like the beauty of bare branches, stalks and twigs. And pausing to appreciate a sturdy trunk, resilient bark and the many shades and tones of brown and gray.
In people, too.
Truth be told. And eventually it must. I shifted from branches to beings when I interrupted myself(who else during lockdown?) with the reminder I’m to teach Sunday School via zoom. I’m bare branches, stripped bark and shallow roots when it comes to technology. While I’m thankful for zoom to link to family and friends, I’m running on empty when zoom and I are to perform as a team. Often I freeze under the heading, “unstable connection.”
NEED I CONFESS MORE?!
Well, those thoughts left me chilled and in need of another layer. So I went to the closet and grabbed a sweater. It felt as cold as I, so tossed it in the dryer. After a few minutes I pulled it out and wrapped myself in comfort. That’s the closest I’ve come to a warm hug in way too long.
Aging and tough times can leave one feeling chilled and looking leafless. But for any of us who feel pummeled and laid bare by winter’s storms, there’s hope.
GOD’S AWARE AND CARES.
For me, God sometimes shows up with an idea like,”toss that sweater in the dryer.” I’d warmed pajamas for my Grands before but nothing like this just for me.
So I raised my warmed branches, looked up and saw beautiful patterns of Grace. And as for zoom, familiar words reminded me to,”Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about what happens to you.”(I Peter 5:7.NLT)
Which takes me back to some of the earliest words in the Christmas story.
You,too, Beautiful and Blessed Branches. God’s got more than a vaccine on the way.
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