Wednesdays with Jillene: seeing the trees

Sigh… not another tree picture! Yuppers! You betcha. In case you haven’t noticed, I’m a bit of a fan of trees and trying to capture their beauty in photos. (You should see my photo app! I just did a quick scan and I have tree pictures for every season!)

This was a photo I took yesterday as I reflected on the word of the day for my Lent Photo-A-Day Challenge for April 11th: solitude. The kids are on Easter break this week and… let’s just put it out there… I’m not finding many moments of that! It isn’t just this week, solitude is hard for me to come by and I have a hard time making it a priority. There are too many things that need doing, to many people who need my attention, and too many “useless” things that waste time too!

So, back to yesterday, I took the family out for a walk. And, as I normally do, I found myself looking at the trees and found myself facing some truths I needed to hear.

There is the section of dense pines in Family Camp. They were planted quite close together and have grown very tall and thin. It’s so interesting how, having grown together from the beginning, they work together. The row facing the clearing have grown stronger, thicker and bear the brunt of the westward winds. The trees in the middle are thin and reach high. While the trees furthest east were weaker and have bent and broken as they succumbed to the weight of snow and the beating of wind storms. Where those eastern trees have been thinned, a new growth of deciduous trees is springing forth.

Reminds me a lot of the body of Christ, how we each have different roles to play yet how we work together, how we need one another, and how, like with the forest, when one generation passes, another one rises to new heights.

Almost 4 months ago I sat looking up at this tree on the wall. As I was listening to family and friends share during a funeral service. And it hit me hard. Not just because someone had passed away, but because of how he was remembered. Person after person shared stories about Mark, of his silly humor, of his many quirks, and acknowledging all of that… how they appreciated his unique roll in the body of Christ. The body of Christ took a deeper meaning for me that day.

One Body with Many Members

12 For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.

14 For the body does not consist of one member but of many. 15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? 18 But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. 19 If all were a single member, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, yet one body.

21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22 On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, 24 which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it,25 that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. 26 If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.

27 Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.

Gives us some things to think about, huh?


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