Thursday, June 19, 2008


“It ain’t noways permanent.” --Pogo

There is an elderly tree across the road from our house. There are several places where it’s rotten through, and in years past, bluebirds have made nests in the cavities.

Isn’t that just like God? To take brokenness, failure, and grief and turn it into life and light and joy and abundance.

Some griefs are visible, easy to see and understand—like when a tree loses a limb, or a marriage ends, or someone we love dies.

Other griefs are quieter, silent and invisible—like when a bug bores into the heartwood, or damage to the bark lets water collect in the tree. We have our silent griefs, like the trees. A friend’s broken promise, a parent’s praise withheld, a hope gone for a job or a relationship or a child.

When a tree suffers, God has arranged for a bright and beautiful menagerie of little animals to comfort it. Little creatures to nestle into the scars of a tree’s grief, to make their home within the brokenness. The wood duck, the owl, the sassy squirrels, the honeybee…. the bluebird. It sometimes seems that a scarred and damaged tree can harbor more life than a whole and healthy one.

Surely there is a bright and beautiful menagerie of the spirit that God sends to us in our grief, to fill the broken places in our hearts, in the same way He fills the broken parts of an old tree with bright eyes and fluttering wings and singing. Surely God, who can turn the failure of an old tree into joyous life, can turn our own failures to good beyond our imagining. Surely God will send light and life and joy and abundance to nestle into our scars and make their home within our brokenness. Surely there will be chattering and humming and honey and fluttering and singing to comfort us.

O my Comforter, I am waiting now for the indigo bluebirds of the soul to come and make their nests.