The Mountain Ash tree in my parents’ back yard was heavily laden with berries. There must have been two hundred clusters of them.
“Won’t they make a big mess when they fall off?” I asked my eighty-seven-year-old father.
Dad reassured me that birds would come and eat them before then. “One fall the birds never came,” he said. “Then in February a flock of them flew in and ate some. Then more birds came, one flock after another. A few days later the tree was picked clean.”
I looked at the bowed branches, straining under the weight of the berries. I imagined how tired the tree would get, waiting for the birds to come. I also imagined how relieved the birds would be to find food in the winter. And then I imagined God’s arms under the branches, bearing the burden, as God did on another tree over two thousand years ago.
I think about what we are given to bear: a sadness, a calling, a desire. Time is slow and heavy. We ask God to resolve it, fulfill it or take it away, but often nothing seems to change. We wonder why God is so far away. Meanwhile God’s arms are under ours, holding them up, just like the Israelites did for Moses.
Then one day, the birds come.
In a riot of glory, they feast and sing and feast some more. Our deep longing to bless is satisfied. Joy so rapturously fills us, we close our eyes to keep the moment from escaping.
Just Sit There Right Now
Sit there right now.
Don’t do a thing. Just rest.
Separation from God
Is the hardest work in this world.
Let me bring you trays of food and something
That you like to
You can use my soft words
As a cushion
∗ ∗ ∗
Love Mischief for the World
My friend Elizabeth McKitrick is seriously up to some love mischief for the world. Her store, Second Nature Home™, is a retail space entirely focused on eco-friendly, organic products for the home—helping neighbours transform their home into a natural sanctuary. The shop offers one-stop eco-shopping with distinctive, sustainable products—a unique mix of locally sourced home essentials and curated decorative arts. The shop also provides the Trout Lake/Cedar Cottage neighbourhood of Vancouver with a refilling system for laundry soaps, shampoo, and other cleaning and personal products, reducing the negative environmental impact of plastic bottle manufacturing.