Freedom has its life in the hearts,
the actions, the spirit of men and
so it must be daily earned and refreshed —
else like a flower cut from its life-
giving roots, it will wither and die.
~Dwight D. Eisenhower
As a bird soars high
In the free holding of the wind,
Clear of the certainty of ground,
Opening the imagination of wings
Into the grace of emptiness
To fulfill new voyagings,
May your life awaken
To the call of its freedom.
As the ocean absolves itself
Of the expectation of land,
Approaching only In the form of waves
That fill and pleat and fall
With such gradual elegance
As to make of the limit
A sonorous threshold
Whose music echoes back among
The give and strain of memory,
Thus may your heart know the patience
That can draw infinity from limitation.
by John O’Donohue
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. ~Excerpt from Galatians 5:12 ✝
When I see that first, minuscule, curled pale green wisp of a sprout
poking up between a couple of grains of vermiculite, I hear God speaking.
Babies, little green babies, miracles of soil and seed are bursting forth from earth’s womb even as winter approaches. And as always I find the potential for life that exists in something as small and seemingly lifeless as a seed mind boggling. Equally astounding is the fact that stored within each tiny seed are enough nutrients to spark life in the seedling that will ultimately grow from the embryo, an embryo which has two points of growth. From one end of a particle sometimes as small as a speck of dust emerges a stem and from the other emerge roots. As if all this is not enough to inspire complete and utter amazement, the process of germination certainly does. Germination is a reactivation of metabolic pathways that depends on the right temperatures, the right amount of oxygen and water, and sometimes the right amount of darkness and light. But wait all this is not really the best part! The most impressive thing is that the entire process of seed to plant to seed, from beginning to end, can and frequently does occur without a human hand ever entering the process.
Jesus made clear that the Kingdom of God is organic and not organizational. It grows like a seed and it works like leaven: secretly, invisibly, surprisingly, and irresistibly. ~Os Guinness
Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, enthroned between the cherubim, you alone are God over all the kingdoms of earth. You have made heaven and earth. ~Isaiah 37:16 ✝
…But though to the outer ear these trees are now silent,
their songs never cease.
Every hidden cell is throbbing with music and life,
every fiber thrilling like harp strings…
~John Muir, American naturalist and author
In this particular writing Muir eventually goes on to say that it’s “no wonder the hills and groves were God’s first temples.” When one thinks about earth’s courts in such a way, he/she realizes that trees, whose roots are three times the size of the tree itself, monopolize large chunks of the planet’s hallowed ground, and so it’s not surprising that throughout the ages trees have been endowed with profound and sacred meanings. For example, by observing the growth and death of trees, the flexible nature of their branches, the annual reoccurrence of their foliage, many have regarded trees as powerful symbols of growth, decay, and resurrection. In addition to their aesthetic appeal, trees prevent soil erosion; they provide weather-sheltered ecosystems in and under their leaves; they play a vital role in the production of oxygen and the reduction of carbon dioxide; they moderate ground temperatures; and some even produce sumptuous orchard fruits. Trees also speak to mortal men of the largeness and power of their Creator, and their lofty heights as well as the views afforded from them are envied by those who dare not climb their towering trunks.
The Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground–trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. ~Genesis 2:9a ✝