Tuesday, 07 September 2010

when trees and coals become a way of praying

the last few weeks have been tricky to say the least. life has a way of showing you all her ways at once.

I stood beside the death bed of a child. only five years old. grandparents in the kitchen keeping their minds busy with dirty dishes. mom and dad growing in faith while I feel like loosing mine. life slowly leaving a body.

I shared in their lost and sorrow.

the same week I sat with a young couple planning their wedding. DJ, flowers, wine and ceremony. We joked about the honeymoon, spoke about sex, touched on communication and conflict.

I shared in their joy and hope.

life and death, are like trees and coals.

here in the city where I work and live, we treasure the life of trees. Johannesburg is the largest man made forest in the world. over the weekend my wife and  I planted 6 new trees in our garden. the hope is a small forest we can call home. there is something sacred in planting a tree. a tree has a soul. it is as if it knows something about life that I, mere homo sapien will never fully grasp. a tree's breath gives new life. it cleanses, it heals, it becomes a filter that keeps life brimming.

to plant a tree a hard work. try planting a tree instead of hitting the gym. but more than that, it becomes a way of praying. you find a rhythm. your mind focus. your body adapts. your soul for a moment become part of the soul of the tree. somewhere between mud, manure and the simple way of a young tree, you see and feel something of God's presence.

last night I lit a fire. our first braai to welcome spring. I thought about the circle of life. a tree died, it became wood. it made friends with paper and fire. it glowed with a new identity. it burned full flame. it turned into coals.

lamb on the grill became a holy feast.

the death of a tree. the death of a lamb. a sacrificial celebration of the first signs of a new season.

sounds familiar?

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