Metaphors and Moss
I headed into the forest under the canopy of trees. The light dappled and danced on the path. The trees sang a comforting tune as the breeze filtered through.
I walked slowly and stopped often. I admired the textured bark and the mounds of lush moss.
Focusing my lens on the details was helping stir admiration for my Creator. Seeing the care He takes in crafting the details in moss and bark was reminding me that He also cares for the details of my life.
My eye caught a mossy stump and I began to take pictures of it.
This particular tree must have fallen years ago. The core had worn away and only a moss-covered shell remained. The inside with shoots of new growth springing up.
It had become a shelter.
I began to think about the beauty of how our own walls of grief can one day become a shelter for someone else's.
And how thinking back on my life I can see how others became a shelter for me.
To be seen and understood is a great comfort in heartache. Friends that sit with you, shed tears with you and offer prayers for you when you are too weak. This is a great gift.
And, I don't know if it's the heightened awareness of my need for Him in tough times, or if it's the extra grace He gives to feel his presence near.
Either way, I am so thankful that "The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit” Psalm 34:18
Because the only thing better than the comfort of a friend, is the peace and presence of God himself.
And how in so many ways and through so many people, during difficult seasons in life, He has always provided a gentle place to land.
Sometimes you don't realize that you have misplaced your hope until that in which it is resting, fails you.
Hope is a weighty thing. When I put my hope into something or someone, I am resting my future happiness, fulfillment and security onto it. If I put this kind of pressure onto the people or things in my life, it's too much. None of these things can bear up under the weight of what I am asking. I will eventually destroy these good gifts as they collapse under that kind of strain.
The beauty revealed through a crazy season in our life, is that it allowed the opportunity for me to re-center my hope. To place the full weight of my hope onto the only one who can bear up under it and who already has.
A broken and humble place always makes fertile ground for a living hope to take deep root.
"According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you." 1 Peter
A place where empathy makes the soil soft. A place where truth permeates and makes the soil rich. A place where love protects like a blanket of moss. A gentle place to grow.
This is the kind of place where I want to grow, and the kind of place that I want to cultivate for my boys.
There have been so many in my life that have offered this kind of gentle space for me. I am so thankful for each of them and hope to offer this to others as well.
And so, we learn, by grace and necessity and through waiting and uncertainty. By holding it all with an open hand, we find freedom. Freedom from gifts becoming more than they ought. And freedom to place the full weight of our hope in the Giver instead.