Thursday, April 19, 2007

Each leaf

One of the dominant changes to our scenery as we move from winter to spring is the emergence of leaves from the branches of trees all around.  The light green color of the new leaves is another familiar herald of new life, like the more colorful flowers and blossoms from other plants and trees.  I couldn't help but be struck by the profound drama of life that is represented by each leaf.  These humble hand-like surfaces live for one growing season and then are transformed to glorious colors of flame before dying in the fall.  While they live, they are centers of photosynthesis, producing the food needed to sustain and grow their parent tree.  A quick look at photosynthesis shows that we are meant to be very much like the spiritual equivalent of a leaf, as we flourish in growth and are transformed colorfully before dying.  The leaf is a place where something from the ground and something from the air is impacted by sunlight in such a way that energy for growth is produced, together with useful byproducts of oxygen and water.  The energy builds healthy plant tissue and the oxygen and water benefit other living things.  Is this not a fair analogy of how it should be in our lives?  As we walk directly in the light of the Lord, He takes our frames of dust, combines them with spiritual touch and produces healthy growth to sustain our own lives, while also yielding byproducts of love in acts of spiritual kindness to benefit those around.
One leaf is miraculous enough.  We live in a place where millions of leaves pump life to our natural world.  Picture the blessing as each of us, as Christ-illuminated leaves, produce life to our community and beyond!  The wonder is great but the growing season eventually turns to fall, when each leaf returns to the soil.  Let's rejoice in our opportunity to live in the light, now!
Daniel 4:11 The tree grew large and strong and its top touched the sky; it was visible to the ends of the earth. 12 Its leaves were beautiful, its fruit abundant, and on it was food for all. Under it the beasts of the field found shelter, and the birds of the air lived in its branches; from it every creature was fed.
Rob Smith

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