But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility... Eph. 2:13-14

Saturday, November 26

What can you see on the horizon? Why do the white gulls call?

Last night I had a dream.

All of the people I’d ever helped were there. You know, all of those clingy people who drive me out of my mind, but whom I love so very, very much? All of them. Even people whom I hadn’t realized I was helping in that way, like a cousin of mine, who I had unknowingly helped when we were five (this is my dream, remember, not based on actual events).

There came a day when suddenly my friends didn’t need me in that respect any longer. Everyone was self-confident, balanced, and happy. Though startled, I was very glad, and actually pretty relieved. I had to learn how to cultivate 50/50 friendships, but I had lots of practice in that, and life was good. Soon, though, I noticed that I had some health problems. I went to the doctor, and by the next week I was in bad shape. I think I had bladder cancer, but I’m pretty sure it was in at least some of my bones, too. There were several other health problems involved as well. I was bed-ridden and miserable.

I’m not sure where my family was at this point, but they weren’t really a part of my dream. I suppose they must’ve moved far away, or maybe even died. The only people in my life that I could turn to were all of those friends who had "sucked my life away" for so long. And WOW did they come through! One friend came and stayed with me all day long almost every day. Even though my mouth was dry and I couldn’t really have a real conversation, just having her in the room helped me so much. My friends brought me flowers, food, entertainment, love. They made sure the hospital was taking care of me, made sure my bills were being paid, made sure to check with the doctor on my progress and such. One friend, who had gone on to become a lawyer (albeit the worst lawyer to ever pass the bar) was trying to make a case for the hospital to pay my bills because my cancer may have been caused by their earlier mistreatment of a Urinary Tract Infection. He was pathetic at it, but I appreciated it so much.

The love and care and self-sacrifice my friends poured out on me blew me away. It brought me to tears. It humbled me, and it raised my spirits. Most of all it encouraged me. I got the feeling that my friends were helping me because I had lived the Gospel for them when I had helped them, and God had taught them through my example. It was as though God was telling me through this very difficult and painful time, “Look, I’ve used even you! The life you’ve lived HAS been to My glory, even when you thought you were failing.”

One morning two of my friends came to visit me, and I was in an unresponsive state. They weren’t sure if I was asleep or comatose, but after trying unsuccessfully to wake me, they called for the doctor. The doctor said that they had done all that they could do, and suggested they put me on hospice.

Though I couldn’t open my eyes or move, I could hear what was going on. I smiled inside and thought, “Oh good. Now my friends can finally rest.” I was filled with love and thankfulness.

Then Mom woke me up and asked if I wanted to go shopping before everyone else woke up.

I briefly considered falling back asleep and trying to finish the dream, but decided against it. I’m content with this ending. And I’m thankful for this dream. And I'm thankful for those great deals I got on Christmas presents this morning!

Thursday, November 3

I ♥ Trees.

On Facebook this month it's popular to post something you're thankful for every day until Thanksgiving. Today, the 3rd of November, I am thankful for trees. So thankful, in fact, that rather than write a book of explanation on my status, I've decided to blog about it in what may turn out to be the most poorly-written post in the history of Droll Digression. Sorry.

Where to begin?

Well, to start, they don't sin. They do exactly what they were created to do, and never have an evil intention. Ever. They're always pointing to their creator. I mean, seriously, they grow pointing up! How crazy cool is that?
They symbolize death and rebirth with their changing leaves and new growth in the spring. Unless they're evergreens, in which case we can be reminded of Eternal Life.

If it fell, a tree could kill you. Crush you flat! You couldn't live without the carbon dioxide recycling that it does. You couldn't live without the ecosystem it's a part of.
They're older than us (created three days before us), and they're tougher than us. We eat their fruit, we live in houses made from them, we use furniture made from them. We imitate them in our art. We beautify our land with them.

Aside from the obvious sustainability factor of oxygen and food, think of where we'd be without the tree.


No fire, no tools, no weapons, few shelters. No ships, no discoveries, no cradles, no wagons, no Noah's Ark. Cursed is anyone who hangs on a... what? Christ's sacrifice on what?
Even the Ark of the Covenant was made of wood and covered with gold.

So, this great creation that lives to give, that does nothing but grow to the glory of God, wave it's branches in the wind to the glory of God, and die to the glory of God, it would seem that this creation is better than us. It produces, we consume. It provides food, shelter, shade and oxygen, we bring sin and blight into the world. It lives to serve, we live to be served.

And yet...

WE are made in the image of God. WE can think. WE can use the resources (like trees) that God has provided for us. WE have been given charge of this planet.
Christ died on a cross of wood for US!

Look at the trees, my friend. Be in awe of the God who has created something so magnificent. See the forest.
And then remember that God likes you even better than them, even though they've never sinned.
Let them remind you of your insignificance. Then remember that you are their legal guardian. You're more special than a tree! That in itself is a mind-blowing grace!

But more than that, you have the opportunity to be adopted by the God of creation! A tree does no wrong, but it isn't righteous. It is corrupted by the disease of sin that we continually cultivate, and it can never clear itself of that corruption. Neither can we. But Christ didn't die for the trees to be saved. He died to save us, sin cultivators! He took our place, and so we can take His righteousness.

Think on that as you rake this Fall,
And worship the Creator of the trees!