and God's weakness is stronger than human strength.
-1 Corinthians 1: 25
I’ve just violated my resolution to ask guest writers to provide a column when I have commitments in Cabinet or Board of Ordained Ministry meetings. (My recalcitrance is the result of gluttony. I hate to give up that precious weekly writing process which feeds me. But let’s save vices for another column!) So this week’s thoughts are brief.
Long car rides give me a chance to listen to interesting podcasts, some of which seem foolish but lead to wisdom. I have been a fan of foolishness for a very long time: as a clown, as a young mother, as a workshop leader. There’s nothing like a little foolishness to clear the clutter of competing expectations or demands on attention.
Two talks have recently caught my attention, both about the social life of trees. (Hunh????)-----
Suzanne Simard ‘s TED talk on “infinite biological pathways” is the account of a Logger’s granddaughter from British Columbia who learns to observe, measure and document trees’ relationships both with each other and with the elements of their environment. And Peter Wohlleban’s research on trees’ capacities and social life traces what actually happens in their root systems. Both these researches note that “orphan trees, “ planted in isolation from their root systems, are less robust that those that grow up in an inter related environment where photosynthesis is enhanced between tree species. An oak planted in an urban concrete surround will not live as long as one in a diverse forest system.
Churches are ecosystems. The “orphans” find it so much harder to thrive in isolation. Paul wrote about the foolishness of the cross’s message. It seems foolish to think that one man’s sacrificial love so many generations ago should still be flowing as life giving sustenance through our interconnected human family. But there it is. Truth. Unexplainable and real. So is it really so foolish to believe that our lives are not just enhanced but able to flourish only when the simple priorities of God come into focus?
In Joy, Karen
He has told you, O mortal, what is good;
and what does the LORD require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God? –Micah 6:8