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Reforestation of the Heart

Reforestation

By Jan Wood

I AM WELL AWARE that we all stand in different spaces in the midst of this tumultuous month.  Some are shedding tears of relief; some are shedding tears of deep disappointment and fear.

Some dreams are awaking; others are dying.  It would be nice to think that those of us in faith communities have a common frame of reference and can sense the commonality of our faithfulness to the God who calls us in these hard times.  But that isn’t the case.  Even the precious Church is splintered and hurting.  It is painful and disorienting.

As I sit with this moment in time, it feels like a wildfire has swept across the landscape of our lives.  The sound. The fury.  The heat.  The rush of adrenaline.  The long anxious nights waiting for the next thing.  The uncertainty about what will be spared and what will be lost.   But as the wind goes quiet and the heat abates, there aren’t many words.  It is simply time to start reforesting the landscape.

While there are large scale reforestation projects that follow the devastating wildfires, it actually rests upon each person to re-create the space around them.  I have a picture of all of us taking stock of our part of the human landscape.  Then rolling up our proverbial sleeves, putting on our hard hats and starting the work of reforestation among our family, friends, co-workers, churches and communities.  I see us sowing millions of seeds of kindness blanketing the seared earth.  I see us with great care setting out seedlings of respect to root in the ashes of disrespect and polarization.  I see the wisdom of planting saplings that are spaciously placed so all will have a chance to contribute and thrive.  I see us choosing intentional splashes of colored foliage to give joy with the new growth.  I see allowing for a variety of plantings.  Some growing up quickly protecting the earth.  Others maturing slowly for the longevity of the environment.

Your images will be different than mine.  But I am sure that it is time for us to turn to the work of re-creation.  The task will look overwhelming.  The losses will bear poignant scars in our being.  But we are made to rise.  Let’s turn our intentions to the reforestation of our hearts and communities.