|Swedish National Heritage Board|
A pastor in my presbytery is retiring, and he left a part of his book collection at a nearby church with an invitation for others to take home books. To my delight I found several interesting nuggets in those boxes and gave them a new home in my library. One of those books is called A Faithing Oak: Meditations From the Mountain by Robert A. Raines. The first story of the book caught my attention tonight. He wrote of an infestation of the local oak trees by gypsy moths, which strip the trees of their leaves, leaving the branches unprotected. He wrote of his sorrow at the sight of a lone oak tree, and then...
One morning in that last week of June, there came a shout from a woman on the Lodge deck. She called us outside to look closely at the dried-up oak, and invited us to touch its leafless fingertips. Strange little nubbins...buds...urging forth towards a second leafing. The process of refoliation had already begun! Later in the summer we would see that oak fully leafed again. We beheld a faithing oak.
Beloveds, may we all find our way toward a second leafing. For sure as the sun rises tomorrow, there will be those who strip us of our protective coverings, leaving us to stand bare and vulnerable as the winds blow around us. And like the gypsy moths, most will not realize what they do is causing damage. Push hard against those forces though we might, we will not survive without a second leafing.
And thanks to the Rev. Dr. Philip M. Jones, whose book granted me the gift of peace this night.