Posts Tagged ‘leaf blowers’

It’s amazing to me how one image or event can burn a particular truth into our hearts and minds all over again in a new and fresh way. When a truth is played out before our eyes in a way we can’t ignore, something clicks into place inside and that truth becomes so much more firmly embedded in us.

One recent Saturday morning, I arrived at our church just before nine to open up our Art Installation for anyone wanting to spend time reflecting there with God. I thought no one else would be around, but as I drove into the car park, I could see activity everywhere.

I had forgotten about the working bee. I looked around and saw men busily cleaning up in different corners of the property. Someone was mowing the grass. Someone was blowing leaves away in another area. Another was sawing away, fixing up a wooden structure elsewhere. Another was blasting the concrete with a pressure cleaner. And still another—one of our senior pastors, in fact—was removing a drain cover to clean out mud and muck that had piled up there.

But in a room in another corner of the property, a different activity was taking place. There, prayer was happening. There, people had been invited to come and receive God’s healing, as others listened to them and prayed on their behalf. A quiet ministry—but oh, so important.

IMG_20171005_201041693_HDRI headed for the Art Installation, then walked around, turning on some soft music and also the special fairy lights that highlighted some of the displays. As I did, I marvelled again at the variety of works people had contributed for this event.  Paintings—some better executed than others, yet all expressing something of God from the depths of the artists’ hearts. There were drawings too and sculpture and other intricate works of art. Various forms of writing were on display as well—poetry, prose, song lyrics. There was even a beautifully iced cake, made to depict the different gifts those in the Body of Christ have, through the Spirit’s enabling.

Three hours later, I closed the door on this lovely, creative space and went to leave. And as I did, a van pulled up outside the main door and men began hauling tables out. Then some women arrived, carrying trays of food and all sorts of boxes. Everyone was intent on the job at hand and everyone seemed to know what to do, like bees in a hive. Their task was to get things ready to enable well over a hundred women to pack two thousand birthing kits that afternoon and evening that World Vision staff will use to help women in rural Uganda. Even prior to this, others had prepared parts of these kits to enable this packing to run smoothly.

So that Saturday, I witnessed afresh the great strength the Body of Christ has when every part functions as it is made and gifted to do.

Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other. Romans 12:4-5 New Living Translation

We all belong to each other. What a wonderful thing—and how important to remember!

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P1040045Recently, after engaging some tree loppers to prune our large magnolia tree to allow more space for power lines, we decided to have another smaller tree cut down at the same time. The young, enthusiastic workmen arrived bright and early on the appointed day. Soon our magnolia tree had several fewer branches and our smaller tree was no longer. But then the pressure began to have more work done.

‘Madam, you should get this big tree cut down too. Look, it has some parasitic plant growing in it! It’ll cost you much less if we do it today. And I’ll get rid of that smaller one near it for just a hundred more dollars—it will all be done then.’

The young man was looking at me as if he was doing me a huge favour. Never mind the thousand or so more dollars it would cost me! To make it worse, my husband had just gone out—the final decision was up to me.

I wavered. It was a lot of money for us to spend.

‘Okay!’ I heard myself say in the end, feeling somewhat numb.

Before I could change my mind, it seemed, my young friend attacked that big tree. More crashing, grinding noises followed and more dragging of branches up our yard. Eventually, out came a rake and a blower to remove the remaining debris. Then all was quiet—and I was left to contemplate the result.

There was still some cleaning up to do and squashed plants to resurrect. But what a difference that tree lopping had made! Now there was ample room for those power lines. As well, our bedroom was much lighter and airier. With that large tree gone from our back yard, our kitchen was much brighter too. And where one of the smaller trees had been removed, now there was room for other nearby shrubs to grow properly.

All around us each day, there are spiritual lessons for us to learn. As I began to appreciate the tangible results of our tree trimming—more light in our home, greater safety with those power lines cleared, more room for growth—all this spoke to me on another level as well. I began to see the absolute necessity of pruning back those things in my life that had crowded out quality time with God in the past busy year and of making space for the light and love of the Lord to fill my heart. As I do this, I know I will find the security and guidance I need. And I will also have room within for God’s Spirit to enable me to grow and to bless others.

Do you need to make more room for God in your life? Do you need more of God’s love and light to flood in as you step into 2015? It may cost—just as our tree lopping cost us—but it is so necessary if we are to flourish as God intended. And that cost is nothing when compared with the peace and fulfilment only God can give.

I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ many dwell in your hearts through faith. Ephesians 3:16-17

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