A Tree is a Tree is a Tree

A few weeks back, we heard Jesus' parable about what makes a good tree. A good tree bears good fruit.

I've heard this before, many times. We lived for years surrounded by orchards. I've pruned apple trees, and picked their fruit. Farmers have to deal with fickle weather, but they also do everything they can to ensure good trees: they care for soil, test different types of trees, prune the trees.

The trees don't actually do much. They just ... are trees.

When I heard this very familiar parable this time, I heard it new. I thought: "I'm a tree. I just have to stand here. God - the farmer - will do the work. I just have to be a tree."

My life has not been easy these past few years. We lost our house, moved into two different apartments. I've lost 5 jobs. I've been so ill and in pain that getting out of bed has been a feat of strength. And I've been plenty mad at God.

What I missed is that God has been asking me to be dormant while He does His work. What I mistook for abandonment has actually been a time of pruning by God. And as painful as it's been, I see now that God has actually been carefully preparing me to bear good fruit.

Now, I don't have a clue what God is preparing me for. And that's ok. For now, I'm resting in God - laying dormant if you will. I'm not dead, although it was a close call not too long ago. No, I'm just being carefully and lovingly prepared by a Farmer who knows what He is about.

A good tree does not bear rotten fruit,
nor does a rotten tree bear good fruit.
For every tree is known by its own fruit.
For people do not pick figs from thornbushes,
nor do they gather grapes from brambles.
A good person out of the store of goodness in his heart produces good,
but an evil person out of a store of evil produces evil;
for from the fullness of the heart the mouth speaks.

What To Do When There Is Nothing Left To Do

Being a human is ...  messy. Our relationships with loved ones get strained, we get angry or upset, we say stuff we shouldn't .... We ...