The Trees of Life
Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.
I recently found an online community of young women clergywomen. Reading their blogs helped me to imagine myself as part of something larger. It affirmed some of my own struggles, hopes, and dreams. It was quite a moment for me to realize how much that meant to me. I hadn't been looking for it, but it came to me.
It's happened to me before, this kind of awakening to an awareness of being part of a larger community. Each time I have this sort of moment of transcendence, I realize that I have a deep longing for community and to be part of something that is bigger than myself. Don't you?
In my own life, each time that longing is fulfilled, it does indeed feel like a tree of life has grown up right before me. It feels like I have received grace that I didn't even know that I needed. Suddenly, there is fruit to eat, shade to rest in, deep roots to rely on, and a strong trunk to lean against when I need more strength.
As we move into the summer, I know that many of us will actually be separated for some time from the larger communities that hold us in our daily lives – our work and volunteer communities, our Village Church community, our school communities, and neighborhood communities. Even if we ourselves stay planted in our normal routines and places, this is the season when many around us take off. I hope that wherever you find yourself over the summer, you may have an encounter with a tree of life that reminds you that you are not alone, and that gives you all the nourishment, rest, and strength you need to remember that you are part of this diverse, albeit dispersed, beloved community.
Prayer: God, root us in you, and guide us beside the trees of life.