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The Sheltering Tree

Light for the Way seriesWe continue in our new Light for the Way series. Our goal is to deepen our focus on scripture. Each week we’ll provide an examination of a biblical reading, being mindful of our shared service to older adults. Thank you for engaging with this series as we draw closer to our Christian Ministry value, and our pledge to seek wisdom through prayer and reflection.

“But blessed are those who trust in the Lord,
whose confidence is in him.
They will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit.” 
—Jeremiah 17:7-8
 
According to the Church Calendar, we are currently in what’s called "Ordinary Time." This slow sequence stretches between Pentecost and Advent (and finds us again anytime we are not in a major holiday season). But of course, this time in which we find ourselves is hardly ordinary, and each day brings a little bit more of the unexpected.
 
We are six months into this pandemic, which has impacted nearly every aspect of our lives, at home and at work. And yet, for us the main question is not, "What is happening?" but more, "Who will we be in the midst of it all?" The Book of Jeremiah offers us two images—a withered shrub in the desert, relying on its own strength and unable to recognize relief when it comes, or a tree beside the water, roots reaching deep, anchored by trust. Even when the scorching heat comes, this tree remains green, providing shelter, stability and fruit for all who surround it. 
 
Many of us may feel like that withered shrub. It has been a long, dry six months. We may have come to the edge of our own resources. We may feel exhausted and uncertain. But it is just when we come to the edge of ourselves that the Lord can find us. Let your roots spread silently beneath the surface of this earth. Find that river that never runs dry and let it refresh you. Take a moment, take a breath, drink from the source. Then, begin your day.

By Chaplain Jenny Schroedel, Optage Hospice

More Resources:
In addition to Light for the Way, you can find reflections, devotions, music, and other resources on the Pastoral Care website. We suggest saving the link or bookmarking the page, so you can check back often.

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