There’s a tree outside of the office wing that’s in full bloom, and I’m very excited about it, because this is the first year it’s really blossomed. It’s a tiny tree. Evans Mank planted it a few years ago, and it’s been tied to a stake to help it grow vertically instead of diagonally since its transplant. Right now, it has nothing tying it to its stake, and though it’s short (only about four feet tall), it’s doing what trees do.
When I finally noticed it a few days ago—it’s hard not to notice spring when it gets sprung, right?—I thought, “Well, that’s never happened before.” And I find myself looking at this tree a lot. It’s succeeding in living, it’s in fact growing and changing and coming into its own, but the familiarity of a faltering sapling is something I can’t shake and still expect. So I have mixed feelings, though I think I shouldn’t.
This week in worship, we’ll be examining the ninth chapter of the gospel according to John. It’s a great chapter. (Do I say that a lot about scripture? I hope so.) The story is this essentially: Jesus heals a man who was born blind, and then, no one can recognize him.
There’s not a lot of celebration from his family or the religious authorities about this; there’s not one reference to Amazing Grace (was blind but now I see), there’s not one person who says, “If you have any question about what things are called, as opposed to how things feel, you let me know.” Instead, everyone gets wrapped up in what’s possible, probable and appropriate instead of seeing what God is doing.
You can probably see where I’m going with this. Which is good. But! I would be missing my own forest for the trees were I to just signpost so clearly a predictable sermon. I’ll leave it to your imagination as to where we’re going on Sunday. I look forward to seeing you then.