This is the land to where the Ancient Paths lead.
This is the land where Papa invites all his children to be.
The orchard is a creation of the created, but the forest is the pure creation of the Creator. Despite its unnatural orderliness, the orchard is truly chaotic. Despite its apparent chaos, the forest is (super)naturally ordered
To enter in, one must move from resuscitation to resurrection: the orchard is living death; the forest is life-after-death-to-self.
From the oppression of suppression to the suppression of oppression.
“The fruit’s much better in there!”
This is the land where all our Godysseys begin and end. It’s the land where it’s forever the end of the beginning.
“God doesn’t build in straight lines”, but he straightens our paths.
I have a friend who once sowed some sunflower seeds. They grew, lofty with their big round cheerful ochre faces.
But unbeknown to my friend, he had dropped one seed. A sunflower grew away from the others, up through the garden path. It pushed its way up through a hairline crack in the concrete structure – struggling like a butterfly emerging through hard chrysalis casing – heatseeking, light-searching, a force of nature. It may not have been as tall as the others, but it was stronger, sturdier, more strident.
Across the sidewalks of our land, cracks in dull grey slab uniformity are cracking wider, and the green shoots of revival are struggling through, forcing through, winning through.
“… Life will not be contained. Life breaks free, it expands to new territories and crashes through barriers, painfully, maybe even dangerously, but, uh… well, there it is… Life, uh, finds a way.”
That life is the life Christ intended for his Bride. That way is the way of Christ, inherent in our DNA. We can’t control it – no one can. The truth is, “You never had control, that’s the illusion!”
That this life should spring forth is, as one Christmas perfume ad puts it, “inevitable”.
So easily we accept the reality of the world with which we are presented. But “hope brings into question the present reality.”
Do we plod on with church as we’ve always known it – or do we transform into church as God wants it? Are we content with the passivity of contained converts – or do we contend with the activity of dynamic disciples? Do we choose to paddle in a duckweed puddle or to trip and tumble and teem in a babbling brook?
New wineskins for new wine!
I’m going through that veil, away from the ‘very nice’ orchard, into the most excellent forest, into Papa’s Place. The Godzone. Aslan’s land. The Kingdom of the King. “The fruit’s much better in there!”
I’m going in deep, deeply and deeper. The call of the wild. The whisper of the Wind Words.
“I have come home at last! This is my real country! I belong here. This is the land I have been looking for all my life, though I never knew it till now… Come further up, come further in!”
Coming too? You know you wanna. All would-be reformers and revolutionaries welcome. “You are here because you know something. What you know you can’t explain but you feel it. You felt it your entire life. There is something wrong with the world but you don’t know what it is. But it’s there like a splinter in your mind.” We do not retreat from reality, we rediscover it. Put the adventure back into venture.
This maybe the Last Post – but I can’t sleep for excitement at the thought of the Reveille and the Rouse…
And so, through the veil, through the door, into Papa’s Place. The Godzone. Aslan’s land. The Kingdom of the King. “The fruit’s much better in here!”