“A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots.”
It is perilous to be a young tree on Big Lake. The beaver makes regular rounds.
Years ago, I planted a Gravenstein apple tree. The beaver chewed it to a stump. New shoots grew. I put wire around the tree to protect it from the beaver’s teeth. The tree grew back, producing huge, juicy apples. Last winter the beaver climbed up the wire and pruned it again to a bare stump. This spring the injured stump sprouted a leaf. By the end of summer, it had several healthy new branches surrounded by a wide wire cage.
Out of an injured stump, new life springs.
Over and over again, the people of God were crushed. And new life sprang up.
Over and over again our lives, our hopes, our dreams get crushed to lifeless stumps.
I wonder: What happens in an injured tree root before new life springs forth?
What healing happens in us that allows new life to spring forth in us? What happens between grieving loss and the healing that allows new life to surprise us? What goes on in the between time?
What has been crushed in you that you are grieving? What helps you to heal? When have you been surprised by new life? Where is God in your grieving, healing and resting, waiting and watching? Advent asks us to be quiet, to rest, to watch, to wait. We do that in the promise that we are never alone; never without hope.
Gracious One, in whom we live and move and have our being, You see crushed stumps with love and hope. Hold us in our grieving, our resting, our healing. May we wait and watch with the assurance of your presence and in the hope of new life springing forth in the most surprising ways. Help us to become even more a healing, restoring, life-giving community to a world that needs your love. Amen.
-The Rev. Vicki Wesen