For seven years, I’ve wondered about the tree down in our waterway out back, but I had never visited it. I’d never felt that rough bark against my hands, or felt the cattails, all squishy between my fingers.
I guess a half-mile seemed too far to walk?
The girls and I were digging tunnels and pulling sleds yesterday afternoon when I heard that Spirit voice that can’t be heard audibly but booms within the soul.
“Stand up and go to the tree.”
Does this God even engage in our playtimes? Surely I misheard.
“Come again?” I whispered.
The Voice came like an echo: “You heard me. Stand up and go.”
And so I told the girls: “Let’s go down by the tree and the cattails.”
We left at once.
Lydia and Anna and their Sunday afternoon friend, Maddie, moved like swift rabbits over the white crust, but I trudged behind like a clumsy moose dressed in a farm coverall. With each heavy footfall, my boots sunk in deeply.
I felt — all at once — ridiculous and
wildly adventurous and
in love with
a Sunday frolic in the snow
and the mysterious God who drew me here.
We took off mittens to feel spongy cattails. We spotted tracks of pheasant and fox, and we leaned against that old tree for the first time ever. Then one of the girls cried out: “Let’s build a a fort!”
So we set to cutting bricks from the snow, on our knees, using simple sticks as saws.
I heard little Anna behind me:
“Guess what my Mommy’s favorite letter of the alphabet is?” Anna asked her friend. “It’s Y. … Y for Yahweh.”
And I turned to see Y-shaped sticks in Anna’s hand. She pulled them off the old tree.
“I know Yahweh!” the friend said. “It was like that song we sang in church today — that song about Yahweh.”
Anna handed me a Y-stick. She told me to cut the bricks with Y sticks because maybe the God-shaped sticks wouldn’t break so easily.
And this is how three wee carpenters and a clumsy old moose built our dwelling: one brick at a time, on our knees, with Yahweh close at hand.
At the base of that old tree on a Sunday afternoon, I thought of another Tree, and of another carpenter.
And I knew then why Yahweh had drawn me here:
To reassure me that yes,
He has been calling us
to stand up
and to go.
My dear friends and prayer partners,
We believe that our little country church has been called to “stand up and go.” We face some difficult times ahead in our church and in our denomination nationwide. We covet your prayers. We want to follow God’s lead and build a house with Yahweh.
I have never wanted my blog to become a political soapbox; rather, it is a place where I share my personal walk of faith. I won’t lay out the details of our church’s current struggle — a struggle being played out in thousands of churches.
But I will do this: I will share what our family hears.
And we hear Jesus calling: “Come, follow me.” Like Simon and Andrew at the Sea of Galilee, we will drop our nets, at once, and follow Him.
We have a House to build at the base of an old, timeless Tree. And we want to build it this way:
Following Him when He calls, even when the journey seems long. (That half-mile walk wasn’t so bad after all!)
Doing Kingdom Work, on my knees.
Building one brick at a time.
Not alone, but in community.
With Yahweh as our guide.
O Father, Guide our steps. We hear You calling.