Monday, 16 November 2009

The death of a tree

A few months ago I wrote about a little “Karee Wilger” tree that was uprooted by a gardener who declared it dead. A friend brought it to me after he saw that there was still a little branch growing new leafs. We planted it and I did everything I could to help it survive the winter. At one stage it looked as if the little bugger was going to make it, but then the last revenge of winter’s icy frost gave the little tree its final blow. And so it died right before spring could breathe new energy and life into it.

It reminds of the life story of German theologian Dietrich Bonheoffer who fought hard and brave for the cause of Christ and then, right before the liberation of Europe and the fall of Hitler in 1945, he was executed.

Life has got a funny way of going in the other direction and reminding us that we humans are not as in control as we hope to be or think we are. Even for those travelling on the straight and narrow, life gives no guarantee.

An ancient philosopher, poet and writer struggled with the same thing. Good happens to bad people, bad happens to good people. The strong gets the same deck of cards as the weak.

In other words: Shit happens.

But then I stumbled upon a chapter in Brian McLaren’s book “Everything must change” called:
Hope happens.

Hope not shit. Hope from underneath the shit. Hope amongst all the shit. Hope in spite of shit. Hope against all shit. Hope because of shit.
The death of a tree leads to the decomposing of roots, leaves and branches, which in turn leads to new life. The death of a theologian by the hands of the enemy leads to the immortalising of his ideas, thoughts, truths and wisdom about how to become a follower of Jesus.

Only through death is resurrection possible.

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