Saturday, November 4, 2017

“We weren’t meant to be somebody–we were meant to know Somebody”

~ John Piper

It starts with a tree: a tall and full maple dressed in brilliant autumn finery. I must be right in front of it because it’s everywhere. It’s my entire world.

Then, something changes and it’s still red and gold and glorious, but it’s only part of the picture. I’m aware of the infinite sky all around; the tree still lovely, but now less significant than the vastness in which it lives.

I’m holding on to a dream as I hover in that not-quite-awake-not-quite-asleep space pondering the wisdom in this short tree vignette. I linger there for a while; I come up with an entire essay in my mind about the trees.

I must fall back asleep because I find myself in school and the teacher is handing back graded essays that she’s transcribed onto greeting cards. I’m talking quietly to a young woman who sits in front of me about a dire situation in her life as the teacher comes by and hands us our cards. We open our cards and read them to one another.

It gets fuzzy after that. I remember there was hockey (this is Canada, after all) but the rest is leaving me. I expect, without intention, that in a few hours I will have forgotten the whole dream; the message of the trees, that seemed so real and important as I surfaced from sleep a short while ago, gone.

Our finite minds are fascinating. We catch glimpses, now and then, of things we can’t quite hold on to or explain, but that are precious and important all the same. Sometimes they’re in dreams.

Sometimes they’re in conversations, sometimes they’re in the garden, sometimes they’re in moments that would pass by unnoticed unless we paid attention.

Sometimes they’re in books. Most often they are in the book, these messages and lessons from the Divine. Our finite minds are apt to lose hold of them if we’re not intentional about keeping them close.

For me these things usually comes through words. I write them down in my journal. I jot notes in the margin of my bible. I write verses on colourful sticky notes and place around the house as reminders. I repeat them to myself throughout the day. I meditate upon them. I chew upon them until they become part of me.

And eventually I internalize the truth that the vastness of love in which the tree grows is everything. And I come to understand that there is an order to things and that the desire of my soul has always been for the Creator not the created. And I come to know that in the tree there is truth. And I remember that words can change a life.

And I rise from my bed knowing I will make mistakes and I will stumble. I will come to the end of this day knowing I could have done it better and wishing I would have remembered what was so real first thing in the morning; but resting, still, under a covering of grace.


I’m a writer, reader, and creative. I thought by now I’d have things figured out, but I keep coming up with more questions. I think that’s okay. I’m here most mornings pondering ordinary things.

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