Like redwoods and sequoias whose entangled roots hold each other up, "we are not designed to stand alone in our singularity", says Minzi Teo. "We are called to bind ourselves together." Photo by Vladimir Kudinov on Unsplash.
The redwoods and sequoias, giants as old as time, do not grow deep roots.
Instead, they branch out not too far beneath the ground’s surface and entangle with each other’s, designed to hold one another up in the brutal storms.
These trees do not stand alone, but grow in clumps, their livelihood dependent on each other. Cut a tree down and you can read its whole story in the naked wound inscribed in the disc of its trunk, in the rings of its years: Its scars, struggles, suffering, joy, love, breakthroughs, and the attacks endured.
Like trees, we are called to be still, knowing that a force greater than ourselves is the life that brings us to life.
We are no different from these trees, called to be still, knowing that a force greater than ourselves is the life that brings us to life, and causes us to grow from something as small as a seed.
We are not designed to stand alone in our singularity. We are called to bind ourselves together, as we find ourselves in each other, our stories weaved into a spectacular tapestry since the beginning of time.
The dark afflictions do not fall upon us alone. The woman who bled for 12 years suffered in shame, until her faith touched the hem of the One who made her well (Mark 5:25-29). This same faith distinguishes our yes from no, even for Noah, Abraham and Sarah, Moses, King David, the prophets and the disciples who all came before us.
Their story is our story because we, too, have seen from afar what hope, peace, light and love is – the power, glory and holiness beneath the world’s lost face.
Stay close, for scattered lights will never be brighter than a city that bands together, a city on a hill that cannot be hidden.
The story from darkness to light, from pain to purpose, from despair to hope belongs to us, and it will lift up another.
What then stands between us if we are called to rejoice with those who rejoice, and mourn with those who mourn (Romans 12:15); to act justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly (Micah 6:8)?
Do not shy away from the truth of knowing whose you are, for those of us who have seen in the face of our Lord our final home, our Kingdom and King, must rise and welcome to His table the lost ones and the mad ones, just as He remembered the good thief who cried: “Remember me, Jesus. Remember me” (Luke 23:42).
Remember them, honour them, just as we will remember and honour each other. Honour others for who they are, do not trip over who they are not, and seek out the gold that is in them.
Stay close, for scattered lights will never be brighter than a city that bands together, a city on a hill that cannot be hidden. Only together, will we rise to be the Church that our King has called us to become. We belong to Him, and for King and country, united we will be.