Comment from Ken – Each week I look for any comments made by you who walk with me. Know they are always welcome. Do you have a special tree in your life? Tell me about it. In Christian love, Ken.
Scripture: Matthew 10: 27 – 31
27“Whatever I tell you in the dark, speak in the light; and what you hear in the ear, preach on the housetops. 28And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. 29Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. 30But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31Do not fear therefore;
you are of more value than many sparrows.
I’ve been waiting for you. Once more, it is raining out for our walk. We did not have rain for a long time, and now we have had too much rain here in New Hampshire. I could not believe how several of the rivers in and near Concord had overflowed their banks. Lets go for our walk anyway for it is only sprinkling and we won’t dissolve. The temperature is around sixty-one degrees, really warm for the sixth of November.
Yes, I have been very busy; I’m still working on my study and, hopefully, it will be finished in the next couple of weeks. It is really exciting to think that soon I will be able to move my desk into my new study. This is, however, going to cause somewhat of a problem for our puppy, Molly. Molly loves being under my roll top desk – it is her place of security. She sleeps under it many evenings and when she is resting during the day. If I go out into that porch room, she is sure to follow and get herself under the desk. She is there right now as you can see. When she was smaller, she fit completely under her desk shelter; now she leans out from underneath it.
A few weeks ago, I spoke with you about the tall pine trees at the edge of our field. I compared them to an outside chapel of worship. Trees are very special in my life, and I am sure there is a tree in your life that you remember as a child or an adult. When I owned Greenhill in Barrington, New Hampshire, I had many favorite trees. There was a maple tree that my dad had tapped for maple syrup when he was a boy that was on the North side of the hill. The center of the tree had rotted away many years later, and when my dad and I found that same tree, we could look up inside it to a place where there had been a branch but now was a hole through which if you looked up, you could see the blue sky.
On the south side of the hill, there was a stand of beech trees, and this time of year, they would be covered with yellow leaves. When the wind blew, there would be a beautiful yellow, falling storm of leaves. You would stand there with eyes uplifted as your hands reached out to catch a falling leaf.
There was a huge maple tree beside our home in Attleboro which had a huge influence on my family. I never mind repeating this story. In the fall, the leaves would tumble to earth, and our son Bradford would say if you could catch a falling leaf you would have good luck. On one windy day, the leaves were falling by the hundreds, and I could not catch a single one. Brad reached up to a low branch and shook it so that I could not help but catch a leaf. I did, I caught one.
When our daughter Brenda was with her boyfriend Mark, there was a great pile of leaves under the tree. Brenda stuffed many of them under her sweatshirt until she looked as if she were pregnant. Mark was angry with her for there was nothing he wished more than to have Brenda be his wife. They have been married for thirty- two years; and at the appropriate time, they did have three children.
Dale saved that tree from being cut down. When we constructed the Candleberry Chapel parking lot, I was told that the roots from that maple tree would eventually cause a rupture in the asphalt on the drive and parking lot. I truly considered having the tree cut down when Dale intervened. She believed that the maple tree should not be cut down, and how happy I am she persisted in that decision. I believe I would not be happy with myself today if I looked back and knew I was the demise of that huge, beautiful tree. My memories of that tree might have been destroyed in my mind if I had been responsible for destroying it.
Maple leaves have been special in my memory ever since the day Bradford shook those leaves down upon me. After Brad’s tragic death, maple leaves speak to me of him.
Not long after Brad had passed away, I was working on a part of the Attleboro house where Brad and I had replaced some rotted out beams. I was shingling there and thinking of Brad when I felt something hit me on the head. It was a maple leaf. Brad was not far away. One day coming out onto the front porch, there was a maple leaf standing straight up in a crack between the boards in an impossible position, and I thought of Brad. Two autumns ago when I was sitting at the front of Candleberry Chapel, I looked down at the floor in front of me, and there was a perfect maple leaf lying on the carpet. Now certainly someone had carried it in on their shoe – but was there more to it than that.
Two days ago, I went out into our back field with Molly. It was a very windy and cold day, and I was freezing. There was a great gust of wind and a hundred oak leaves flew around me. How could I not wish to catch one as Brad had wished me to do years before for good luck? Sitting in a chair, there was not much of a chance that a leaf would come near me to catch. It might not be a maple leaf, but an oak leaf would bring good luck as well.
It was then I spoke to Brad. It would be so comforting if I could feel that Brad was watching me and still a part of my life. It was a prayer – a prayer that I felt was wrong for it was in a way asking for a sign from God. Jesus did not like us to look for a sign even though over and over again in His life there were signs from the Almighty. I whispered as I should not have done – How wonderful it would be if I could have a sign that Brad was aware of my thoughts of him. Something brushed my cheek. I reached over, and in my hand was not an oak leaf but a maple leaf – a small dried maple leaf. From whence did it come? Now, there seemed to be only oak trees surrounding me but a maple leaf fell into my hand. I believe it was from a loving God who loves His children into an eternity.
Call it circumstance if you wish, but for me, I see the hand of God. Over and over again, I believe God speaks to us through our world if we but look for signs. God’s presence is always around us – we just forget to look and see Him in our ordinary days of life. I saw His hand in a maple leaf yesterday and today.
Have you seen Him in your life recently? Perhaps He has spoken, and you thought it was just coincidence? Not so. He speaks quietly every day, but we must look and listen and BELIEVE.
Dear God, in your quiet and subtle way, speak to us as we walk upon this earth. May we see Your hand in our daily lives and know that it is Your hand not coincidence that has brought small miracles to us each day. Thank you for Your wise and holy presence. May we give You all honor and praise – through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Until we walk again, “May the Lord watch between me and thee while we are absent one from the other. Amen. “