It started with a tree.
One of the first stories I heard in my “Just For Kids” bible, at my parent’s knees, sitting criss-cross-apple-sauce in a circle on Sunday morning. The Tree of Life, of the knowledge of good and evil, the one tree in the Garden of Eden humanity was instructed to preserve. Of course, we didn’t. We’re not good with boundaries.
God could have chosen any symbol. A sacred cave to steer clear of. A word to remain unspoken. Instead, it was the fruit of a tree. And we ate what wasn’t ours, beyond our scope; not for sustenance (which was well provided for throughout the garden), but for greed. We became takers.
Over the years, we began to preach rights, not responsibility when it comes to nature. Instead of giving and receiving care from this world we are a part of, we strove for dominion. Environmentalism earned a bad rap in most churches – a lesser virtue, if even one at all. As if we deserved to rape, pillage and plunder the entire earth to feed our own appetites. As if this was without consequence. As if this wasn’t sin too.
We should remember, it started with a tree.
So here’s my rambling free write, on the prompt “Tree” as part of lisajobaker.com’s Five Minute Friday linkup.
If I’m completely honest, the first tree that came to mind was Yggdrasil from Norse mythology (and Marvel’s “Thor” ’cause I’m a dork like that). It exists somewhere between symbol and reality, a massive tree holding life and all the realms together. This interconnectedness speaks to me too, and sounds awfully familiar.
He turns his face toward the sun, relishing the heat. He dances in the rain with squeals of excitement. He lays facedown on the rocks, feeling the texture beneath his cheeks. He savours life. He doesn’t need words.
She belts out her very own version of the song. She sings a loud monotone, “YAAAAAAAAAH YAAAAAAYAAAAAYAAAAH!” She shimmies and boogies and wiggles her bum. She makes a joyful noise in church. She doesn’t need words.
She zooms in on details I walk by without thought. She fills up the memory card with hundreds of pictures. She notices the delicate curve of an icicle and the ray of sun on a spider web. She sees art and beauty through her lens. She doesn’t need words.
She feels the melody in her bones. She lets it flow out of her in extensions and jumps and studied movements with french names. She puts music into action. She captures emotions and meaning and spirit through dance. She doesn’t need words.
He chews on complex ideas for years. He contemplates and reads and researches and contemplates some more. He explores theological movements and concepts and arguments in his own mind. He focuses his intellect on understanding. He doesn’t need words.
I watch each of them and am amazed. I roll words and phrases and snippets of insight around in my head. I pull them out and arrange them carefully until something coherent emerges. I tell the stories. And I see You in them. And in me.
I don’t need words to worship, but it doesn’t hurt.
So here’s my Five Minute Friday contribution – WORSHIP.
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