Search This Blog

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Life! - and death

"Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life." 
-- John 12:24-25

I recently hiked with friends through an old mountain forest located just off the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina.  My friends had lived, and one had farmed, in that part of the world some years ago.  They all commented on how lush the forest was for late summer.  The foliage was deep green, the soil moist, the undergrowth thick, and various fungi plentiful.

Yet, upon closer observation I noticed the dead or dying trees.  And the more I looked and smelled, the more obvious it became that hidden within the lushness of the forest was an abundance of decay that ranged from newly fallen limbs and trees, to hollow trunks, to mulch, to rich dark earth.

Then from the earth there was new growth.

The creation in which we live is a continuous process of new growth and old growth, of lushness and decay.   Unfortunately we humans have decided that some of the process is bad, unwilling to accept the wholeness and fullness of life as good.  Even that which we have named "death" is actually part of the larger process of "life."

Just as the old tree eventually provides rich soil from which other trees and plants grow, the people who have come before us, even those for whom their loss is unbearably painful, provide rich and fertile soil in which our own lives grow.  And as sure as the sun rises and sets, we will someday be the soil for others.

Death is not the opposite of life, but rather an essential and vital part of it. How would your life change if you were to make this one simple shift in perspective?

Wednesday, August 21, 2013


I lift up my eyes to the hills— from where will my help come? My help comes from God, who made heaven and earth, who will not let your foot be moved. God who keeps you will neither slumber nor sleep. God is your keeper; God is your shade at your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night. God will keep you from all evil; will keep your life. God will keep your going out and your coming in from this time on and forevermore.   

--Psalm 121

And there was evening..

...and there was morning...

...and indeed, it was very good.