Lessons from the Tree

Photo: CKirgiss
Unlit by day

I love my book tree just as much unlit by day as lit by night. It’s gracious like that.

Like all beautiful and bookish things, there’s more to this book tree than just a tapered stack of tomes. There is truth. Loads of it. Mostly about the Church and her people.

Lesson 1: If one book falls, they all fall. (Really – is it too obvious to state?)

Lesson 2: Each book brings something unique to the tree – colors, textures, topics, covers, authors, views, titles. The variety is astonishing.

Lesson 3: The tree is made entirely of books that were either destined for the trash pile or stacked in a junk shop before being rescued, bought for a price, carried home, and given new life.

Lesson 4: Some of the books have divergent views on such things as history, humanity, and society, but they all agree to play together nicely and be part of this particular tree.

Lesson 5: Together, these books make something bigger, better, and more beautiful than they do alone.

Lesson 6: Even the smallest amount of book tree light pierces the surrounding darkness.

Photo: CKirgiss

Lesson 7: The inner book tree lights radiate the space within, then spill out the cracks, tumble over the pages, and radiate the space without.

Photo: CKirgiss
Inner light, outer glow

Lesson 8: The seemingly ordinary books are quite as necessary as the fancifully decorated books.

Photo: CKirgiss
(extra)ordinary

Lesson 9: The tree stands tall and true only because it is built on a foundation that is strong and level (and also happens to be made out of an old shed door decorated in crayon by the neighbor girl).

Photo: CKirgiss
On this table I will build my tree.

Lesson 10: The tree brings me joy. Great, great joy.

So should the Church. And so can the Church. But often she does not because (sometimes) each of her books determines to write its own story, construct its own foundation, and be its own individual tree.

And yet the Lord loves her (and her books) still. Glory be, that is Good News indeed.

[Just one more thing…]

My particular book tree has its own peculiar mix of doctrines that I discovered only after constructing it. (NOTE: The views of my tree do not necessarily reflect the views of this blog or its author.)

My book tree:

is ecumenical

Photo: CKirgiss
Dante and Catholic Philosophy

embraces teaching that is both didactic and narrative

Photo: CKirgiss
Pinocchio and English-French Dictionary

is evangelistic

Photo: CKirgiss
Billy Sunday

wallows gleefully in human depravity

Photo: CKirgiss
The Seamy Side of History

is egalitarian – or maybe complementarian?

Photo: CKirgiss
Call of the Wild and A Girl of the Limberlost

is confidently heaven-bound

Photo: CKirgiss
The Country Beyond

warns against backsliding

Photo: CKirgiss
The Danger Trail

deals with behavior lapses simply and swiftly (and – let’s hope – privately)

Photo: CKirgiss
It Never Can Happen Again

encourages daily surrender and sanctification

Photo: CKirgiss
Little Journeys

puts a high priority on children’s ministries

Photo: CKirgiss
Complete Cheerful Cherub

cares for those in need

Photo: CKirgiss
The Sick-A-Bed Lady

follows a congregational form of government

Photo: CKirgiss
The Little Minister

and lastly, has a definitive view of baptism.

Photo: CKirgiss
Water Babies

a bigger picture – a better question

Wednesday, 7 November, 2012:

I’m not a political activist, pundit, or powerhouse. That’s why after voting yesterday, I wrote that the precious freedom to vote is of less significance than the precious truth that we are human.

This morning, 51.5% of voters are euphoric (to varying degrees) and 48.5% are despondent (on various levels) based solely on their personal answer to this single question:

Who did you vote for?

Several hours ago, the political map of our country looked like this:

2012 Electoral Map – 11.07.12

For entirely non-political reasons, I hate this map. Everything about it screams division and dissent. The non-United States of America.

I prefer this map:

United States

A person has to really scrunch up their eyes to pinpoint “my” place. The color scheme has an artistic air about it. The division lines are faint, more like the marks on a master blueprint than the “cut” lines on a butcher diagram.

This map is even better:

This one is better yet:

And this is the best of all:

 

I vote because I can. Because I have been given that right.  Because voting matters – on a temporal level, that is.

But I am not a pinpoint on a blue/red electoral map, defined primarily by my political leanings or judged by my voting record.

I am, rather, a pinpoint in a vast, immeasurable universe. I breathe because I live. I have been granted that miracle. Pinpoints matter – in spite of their smallness – solely because they are defined by their imago Dei and judged by undeserved grace.

The real question (for today) is not Who did you vote for?

The real question (for beyond days) is Who do you live for?