Bearing leaves

“And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.”  Revelation 22:2

This week I’m transporting leaves from Columbus to Goshen, Indiana.  That’s where six of us from CMC will gather with other representatives from Central District Conference congregations for our annual meeting.   The leaves aren’t real – although they are colored on paper which I guess technically comes from trees.  CMC kids (and a few adults) colored them during our outdoor service at Highbanks a couple weeks ago.  All the CDC congregations are doing the same.  I believe we’ll be having a leaf exchange of sorts, each going home with a leaf-gift from a child of another CDC congregation.  Here are some CMC leaf-gifts that will soon be scattered across the Midwest.

I’m on a bit of a leaf-high myself, having just been in the presence of the tallest trees on earth – the coast redwoods of Northern California.  It was a wonderful place to celebrate my parents’ 50th anniversary and a special window in time for our family with the youngest grandkids old enough to hike, the oldest grandkid still around before heading off to college in the fall, and Mom and Dad healthy and active.  That’s a brief window in time.

But those trees.  They’re on a whole different time scale.  The needle-leaves of one of those redwoods have been absorbing fog and CO2 for more than a thousand years.  Walking through a redwood forest makes one feel small in a good way.  Time slows down.  Underground their roots weave together into a single web.  We’re all connected.

The vision of Revelation, the final book of our Bibles, is that the nations of the world are healed by the leaves of the tree of life.  If we are to make our way toward collective healing it sounds like we must become patients of the nonhuman world, stepping into their office, which is all around, above and below us.  We can be learners, wonderers and wanderers, receivers of their wisdom, givers of life.

A leaf exchange bearing children’s handiwork feels like a small step, in a good way.