Friday, April 01, 2022

An Offering

 

Sometimes we cannot see what stands right before us. Secrets, uncomfortable realities, hidden emotions ... and even things of beauty we keep hidden behind walls we've built to protect wounds.

A few weeks following the Archie Creek Fire, which charged through our community destroying property, homes and people's lives, my husband and I took out our side-by-side to explore what had become of neighboring properties. We started on our neighbor's timbered ranch where the fire had burned hot as it destroyed the lush woodland.

The experience was a painful gut punch. We drove through, stunned at the devastation--blackened trees, scorched earth and stones. At first glance it was hideous, with no evidence of its previous beauty. But upon closer inspection we could see things we didn't know existed like the unpredictable and unsettled terrain. Before the fire it was all a tapestry of heavy, green timber. The hillsides and hollows had been hidden, and we'd never seen the rocky meandering stream beds or perfectly balanced stacks of boulders. 

The fire had burned so intensely hot everything that had been a shield had been burned away. All that was left was char.

Sometimes that's how it is with us. A life storm sweeps through and leaves us wounded and charred. What we've kept hidden from sight is suddenly exposed in our emotional vulnerability. Afraid that what others will see will only prove what we knew to be "true" - We are unlovable. We are ugly. We are unfit for this world. Oh, how our hearts lie to us. 

Now what do we do? We have been exposed by the storm.

What the world can now see God already knew. Silly us ... we thought we could keep it hidden from Him, but that's not possible. God sees it all. Knows it all. And still, He loves us.

Greg and I continues to explore the desolated forest, my heart breaking. I struggled to hold back my tears. It all seemed so bleak, but just as God knows everything He knew this too. He had created it.

Somewhat in awe I began to see the beauty. 

The huge stones were remnants of a catastrophic explosion of a nearby mountain many centuries before. They had been strewn across our countryside as a reminder of the power and beauty of nature. And though the stones in the stream bed looked lifeless I could see the future transformation as water returned to the stream when the rains would come and wash them clean to reveal the array of colors and textures in the stones. And there were valleys and hills that created a contour to the land that I had never seen before. 

I especially loved a stack of stones - a large boulder with smaller stones balanced perfectly on top, displaying the precision of nature, God's creation.


Even the blackest of trees held a surreal beauty. They stood like specters on the scorched earth, a reminder of the forest that had once been. 



Just as our own hearts can heal and again radiate hope and love so too will our beautiful forest return ... one day. May the scorched earth and its revival serve as a reminder to us that God stands ready to revive that which seems dead. He sees it for what it really is, and it is His pleasure and His joy to renew every living thing. Just as our forest waits for renewal, so do we. And when it is done, we will be a beautiful, fragrant offering to the world.

 



Grace and peace to you from God,


Bonnie


6 comments:

  1. Oh, amen amen amen!

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  2. Yes, and he will restore the Ukraine!

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    1. Yes! I completely agree with you. And while the battle continues, we pray.

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  3. What insight God has given you. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Kathleen, thank you. I always pray and seek out the truth in what God is showing me. And then I write and pray I don't get it wrong, though I know that sometimes I do. God bless you.

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