Friday, November 17, 2017
"Trees and Me"
This week's blog is by Dr. McKechnie's
daughter, Sheri Joseph.
Why do I tell you about all this? I’m not a tree hugger. I just see a parallel in the trees and the state of our world right now. We’re entering into a “season of giving” as it’s usually called and the predictions are grim. Not many people seem like they’re in the mood to give or celebrate. I can’t blame them, everywhere we go, the doom and gloom follows us. It’s enough to make us turn inward and hunker down and suffer through, but I look at the trees around us in this great city and I wonder if there isn’t a real lesson there. When we are laid bare, all the pretty leaves gone, who are we? Are we more giving, compassionate and kind? Are we selfish, negative and angry? What scars are exposed? What needs healing?
I received an e-mail the other day about some 2nd grade teachers in Billingsville Elementary who pulled two volunteer moms aside and told them that a lot of the children were coming to school with no underwear or socks. The teachers were asking the volunteer moms to forgo plans for a class holiday party and find a way to get underwear and socks instead. That news brought me out of my own personal fear-fest and broke my heart. All around us, people are struggling. There is always blame and uncertainty to go around, but I believe our greatest strength is shown when we come out of ourselves to help others. CS Lewis said, “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks to our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”
As we go into the Advent season and put up the Christmas tree, I wonder what God is trying to shout at me. What message was I ignoring in all the “good times” and when I finally hear God, will I even stop to listen?
My prayer for me, for you, our children, for our city, our country and our world is that we will hear God speak to us and when our lives and the lives of others are laid bare, allow God to re-plant the true joy of this season in our hearts. Merry Christmas!