Monday, January 21, 2008

BJ and Uncle "Trapper" Rich.
In our post ice storm city, every neighborhood has waves of jagged tree and branch laden streets. Ours is no different. The piles which began around six feet high, have settled down to around 4 feet.
Our entire property is framed along the streets edge with pile after pile of shattered limbs.

Crane your neck upwards to what remains of our oaks, and you see dangling limbs and mis-shapen silhouettes.
This past weekend, Lauren and I finally raked and bagged leaves. Between our schedule and the delays from this storm, we had not done so. It took us all afternoon to do so. We enjoyed a time of conversation about the things of God.

As we were working, Deanna pointed out (she was out washing windows) that our Christmas tree, which I had previously deposited into the piles of debris, was missing. Somewhere along the way, as we wait for the city to haul our tree tops, someone took a shine to our lifeless evergreen.

Now, we did not need it. It's just that, who takes a dead spruce from a pile of limb rags?
Each time I think about this I am tickled. I am trying to imagine the thought process that leads to such a conclusion.

You're driving through the neighborhood, street after street of the same thing...piles and piles of debris. All of it deadwood brown with shards of newly exposed pale yellow. All of a sudden you see a hint of drab green and you suddenly have the need for a spent Christmas tree?
I suppose someone may have decided to make spruce mulch. Or perhaps they had a recipe for spruce tea?

I know the birds were using it for cover, hiding or roosting in its recesses. Maybe someone with a bird sanctuary had need of a new housing unit.
I would like to thank whoever found need for it. I just wish they also needed the remainder of the lifeless mounds.

I've noticed they have begun to collect blowing leaves, spent grocery bags and other weightless shrapnel the wind delivers to our address. Its getting kind of hard to remember what it looked like before it formed a fortress. Back when we could see the neighbors yard, and could park along the street.

Even with the changes in the landscape, winters gray is wearing thin on me. I'm ready for signs of life. New green, in paler shades that are bound by roots, so they are less tempting to those who would pilfer old dessicating Christmas past.

In a world that reflects the depths of winters wear, we likewise can be signs of life. We can live the joy that others desire. We can be the color that exists among lifeless brown edges. Of course, we have to be separate from the world. We cannot reflect the same cling it has on most others.
We have to remain connected to the vine. When we do, our branches invite the lifeless to rest, retreat and rejuvenation. Christ in us brings color to weary communities!
Ridgeway Baptist Church, thank you for another opportunity to speak to you, yesterday!


At 1:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks. God Bless!

At 6:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am actually 3/4 of the way through I Would Die For You. I picked it up on my college campus, Oral Robert's University, and I have not been able to put it down. Thank you for sharing the story of your son, BJ, he has touched so many people's lives, including mine. I am truly inspired, encouraged, and convicted by the life he led here on earth. These past few months I have been working on who I am in Christ and stepping out into this world and walking in love, living the missions lifestyle so his personal struggles and life lessons have been so helpful. I am actually very interested in Awe Star Ministries and plan on looking into it more thoroughly. I am a Missions Major here at the University. In reading this book I was led to come to the website and have been reading many of your past blogs and I wanted to thank you and your family for the hope, inspiration, love, and obedience you have shown through writing this book and really all that you have done in the past and are doing now. Thank you so much. Stay strong in Christ.

At 6:38 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Hey, Brent- thanks for allowing God to speak through you and Deanna as you share His story in B.J.'s life. my family and i are looking forward to meeting you in person when you come to Lindsay, OK in February... and we're just expecting great things from God-- as we seek to glorify the Lord together. thanks for sharing.


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