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Straight into a large tree

by davesandel on May 5th, 2021

Wednesday, May 5, 2021                   (today’s lectionary)

Straight into a large tree

A branch cannot bear fruit on its own unless it remains on the vine. Neither can you unless you remain in me. I am the vine, you are the branches.

A girl I know grew up all over the country, moving with her parents to several states, watching her parents become alcoholics, knowing her brothers and sisters had different parents. She became discouraged. She joined a church and became hopeful, but the man she had planned to marry wasn’t interested in God, and a week before their wedding, she called it off.

Her mother had had enough. “You need to go and do what you need to do.” The girl got in her car, revved it up, and drove straight toward a large tree. Is that what her mother meant?

Anyone who does not remain in me will be thrown out like a branch and wither.

Just as the car got to the tree, the engine died. She tried again. The engine died again. So she went on home.

This was a puzzle. She planned to be a nurse in the Air Force, and was already trained and certificated. All she lacked was motivation and encouragement. But those two requirements were missing in spades. God’s presence seemed vague and even illusory, to say the least. So she tried again. Revved the car, sped toward the tree, but there the car died. No brakes, just died.

If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.

The fourth time this happened, there was also something else. What does the Bible say about Paul? “Something like scales” fell from her eyes. This time the presence of her Father was palpable. This time she recognized love she hadn’t felt from her stepdad, or the man she had just discovered at age 20 was her real dad, no one ever told her.

This time too, sitting in her car in front of the tree, she breathed in encouragement. She left and did not come back.

The girl looked for a place called Agape Acres, and drove there over and over in the car that hadn’t crashed, in the clothes that were not soaked in blood. The music of the Jesus People, the All Saved Freak Band, Keith Green, poured into her, over her, resurrected her.

Oh Lord, you’re beautiful

Your face is all I seek

And when your eyes are on this child

Your grace abounds in me.

She did become a nurse. She did get married and had kids. She helps lots of folks in epidemics, including nowadays our Covid-19 catastrophe. She loves good movies and music, and she plays that old Christian music all the time, driving to work, past the big tree, into tomorrow.

(Acts 15, Psalm 122, John 15)

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One Comment
  1. john permalink

    Wow. That’s a great story. Love you Brother. John

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