Seeing what is right in front of our eyes is sometimes difficult. In 2003 we acquired a home on Lake Mary Ronan. It is just across the street from the water. Back then there was a great view from our porch. Over the years trees continued to spiral upward--then became invaded with thick mistletoe. We could only see little openings of light and water. For the last five years we could not envision any solution. The situation was out of our hands. God do something, I prayed!
One day totally out of the blue, the power company came and removed two trees thick with mistletoe which had grown into the power lines. And then yesterday three more trees about 50’ tall came down—these beautiful trees died when their roots were cut for a septic tank. In the spirit of it all we are removing a tree too. And now we can see the lake! God accomplishes marvelous things when we are willing to wait. I am thinking about the wood—so much wood—huge rounds of trunk being taken away. What a waste—but then again maybe not.. The three tall stumps left behind remind me of Shel Silverstein’s classic book “The Giving Tree”…’Once there was a tree, and she loved a little boy…very, very much..even more than she loved herself…and the boy loved the tree….very much.” There is more to those trees and I would never have seen it before—not until they died. There is sadness; yet there is purpose and now renewal.
The limbs and needles have become mulch to nourish other plantings, the big chunks will be split for fire wood to warm people in the cold, and those three majestic stumps will become something beautiful to love. The owners have invited a Wood’s Bay artist to carve images out of the short trunks left standing. Nothing will be wasted. And other plants will flourish in sunlight they have not seen before!
Pentecost is the season after the hard wood of the cross has been taken down. The sacrifice of love that took place at Golgotha, which most could not understand then, sparked something new and marvelous. Jesus lives and has received all the glory of God. We are forgiven and reconciled to our heavenly Father. There is abundant life for all who have faith in God. And that is not the end of the giving…Jesus then shares his life by sending the gift of the Holy Spirit to us. The Holy Spirit makes it possible for the resurrection life of Jesus to be manifested in us.
We have received this gift already. The question is this: Will we give ourselves to be used by the Spirit for the rest of the world to have abundant life too?
As St. Patrick’s celebrates our 40 years of being a church in Ferndale we remember so much of the Spirit’s work through us for others. May we stay fit in faith for the Holy Spirit to keep putting us to work with the message of the Jesus Christ.