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Not a Feather Falls

From the Desk of Cheryl Hauer

When we moved to Jerusalem 16 years ago, the Lord blessed us with an amazing place to live, a lovely apartment about ¾ of the way up the side of a mountain in the southern part of the city. On a clear day, we could see into the wilderness almost to the Dead Sea. To the north of us, we could catch glimpses of the Temple Mount and just on the other side of the hill to our south lay the city of Bethlehem. When the time came for us to move back to the states, we were sad to leave what had been our home for ten years and a little apprehensive at the daunting thought of finding a place as amazing as what we had become accustomed to.

Of course, we needn’t have worried. God again blessed us but in a very different way. This time, he gave us a home in an area that feels like a park. A corner lot on a street with no through traffic, a golf course on one side of us and an apple orchard on the other, flowers and shrubs abounding, and trees…dozens of huge, old maple trees. Surrounding us with green in the summer and dazzling red in the fall, it is truly a place of beauty. In the middle of our front yard stands one of those trees, a giant maple that must be more than a hundred years old.

Those trees are greener and fuller this year than we have yet seen. We have had almost constant rain for weeks making the flora around us lusher and more beautiful than ever. But the downside is the moisture, together with unusually high winds, has taken a toll on trees throughout our county. Unfortunately, our yard was no exception. We awakened the other morning to see that our street had been completely blocked by a huge branch that had been ripped off by the wind, a branch that had made up about 1/3 of our front-yard maple. And there it was, lying dead and broken in the street like an old friend, murdered in the night.

Now the “tree guys” are telling us we should probably take down the entire tree. I am a bit embarrassed to admit it, but I am heartbroken. I love that tree. I mean, I really love it. I love how it stands like a mighty sentry in our front yard, shading the entire side of our house and deck from summer’s heat. I love how its bare branches sparkle like diamonds outside our dining room window on frosty winter mornings. I love how baby squirrels chase each other, using its barely green spring branches to practice their gymnastics. And I love how countless birds serenade us from its summer branches, heavy with beautiful foliage. Call me weird, but I feel real affection for that tree.

As I look at it, still lying there waiting for flood waters to recede so we can have it removed to the landfill, I am reminded of God’s words in Matthew 10:29. Not a feather falls. Not a petal falls. Not a leaf falls. He is aware of all things, and strange as it sounds, He loves that tree too. He loves all of His creation. The beauty that surrounds us, the majesty of the mountains, the glory of the heavens…they all exist because of God’s unfailing love. And as much as He loves that tree, He loves us…well, more. In a different, deeper and relational way. 

From The Voice:

The crown of God’s creation is a new creature, a creature that can sound the heartbeat of its Creator. That creature, made male and female, reflects God’s own relational richness. The human family is to join God in the ongoing work of creation.

And somehow, in all of that, I am comforted.

Blessings and Shalom,

Issachar Community


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