LISTEN TO: Jason Castro, "This Is Only a Mountain" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1OWLs1G3q1
At our former manse there was an unusual round patch of ground. It is the mark of where a maple tree once stood. However it fell during Super storm Sandy and had to be completely removed. All that remained was a patch of wood chips. We had moved in in mid-February, and this round, barren spot captivated Forrest. He mixed in garden soil. He planted rings of nasturtiums. Then for good measure, in another stretch of the lawn he planted dahlias and sunflowers. Where that wonderful maple tree stood a year before, now grew beautiful orange/yellow nasturtiums. Why nasturtiums? They were the favorite flower of Forrest's beloved grandmother. And she loved nasturtiums because they were her mother's favorite flower. They are a symbol of enduring love and goodness. Life goes on and life finds a way to bloom, even in the wood chips and aftermath of storms.
If you were to ask me a year before that move, would we be there, enjoying the beauty of nasturtiums following the felling of that maple tree, I wouldn't have been able to conceive of it. But that's what happens. The storms of life hit. Many precious things are destroyed and damaged in the storms' path. We discover that mountains are not just those large land-forms stretching above the land around it. the mountains we must scale have to do with loving in and living through difficult situations. Having faith that God will see us through when it feels like we've just been dropped down a crevice. Having hope that God will bring us through and open new doors. Paul reminds us in Romans: For in this hope we were saved. "Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. 8:24-25"
Now in the summer of 2020 we still face the storms of COVID19. Will we face a resurgence? When will social distancing and mask wearing end? How long will it take to get a vaccine? Will school and work go back to a "new normal" in the fall? What about racial equality? How long will racism continue until we become so sick and tired of it, of the burnt holes in our souls, that we will plant seeds of justice and peace? When will these mountains be scaled?
We will conquer these mountains. We scale them with patience, faith and love. God's love, and the love we carry with us, down through the ages, and the love that around us -- that love will see us to the other side, where the nasturtiums are waiting to bloom.
PRAY: "God, grant me the faith to face my mountains"