Monday, August 1, 2011

Who can say
which came first
rock or tree
or how, or when, or why

so being
rock and tree
neither moved
both changed
both defined
by the other

but the tree lived
roots reaching slowly
as tendrils do
easing forward
around the rock
which remained

it thrived
at waters edge
where rock was cleansed, soothed
and smoothed over time
by Living water

not every rock
intended to be a destroyer
remains a destroyer

some remain
a catalyst
for greater growth
bringing awareness of
weakness and
the greater need
for grace and strength

lest the tree
rely upon its own roots

Patricia Spreng

Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.  But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”  2 Corinthians 12: 8-9

     Paddling in my kayak, along the shore line of a small inland lake in West Michigan, I was gripped by the sight of this rock embedded in the root system of a tree. I'm sure the neighbors wondered what I was looking at for so long.  Especially when I came back later with a camera. 
     In Luci Shaw's book, Breath for the Bones: Art, Imagination, and Spirit: Reflections on Creativity and Faith, (click on link below) she describes

 "the Spirit is an artist who knows the value of the creative act from divine experience; he’s the one who will baptize my spirit and my imagination and shape the images that he sends into words that bear his own fingerprints."

    "Baptize my spirit and my imagination"... yes.
    In my little kayak, it took no time for me to know and see God there with me, showing me this picture of my life.  I have spent much time hiding, trying to get rid of,  pointing to and blaming the rocks in my life.  But, it was clear to me in this moment that the God-allowed rocks in my root system are there for a purpose...His purpose.  His grace is sufficient.
    Luci Shaw quotes poet William Stafford:

So, the world happens twice—
once what we see it as,
second, it legends itself
Deep, the way it is.

   So, Lord, hear my prayer... touch me with Your fingerprints and baptize me again and again... always into Your deep waters.

Shaw, Luci (2009-09-01). Breath for the Bones (Kindle Locations 748-749). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

Shaw, Luci (2009-09-01). Breath for the Bones (Kindle Locations 1175-1177). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

Sharing today at The High Calling where we are exploring God-given creativity in Luci Shaw's book, Breath for the Bones: Art, Imagination and Spirit: A Reflection on Creativity and Faith , hosted by Laura J. Boggess
Also sharing today at Seedlings In Stone: On, In, and Around Mondays with L.L. Barkat


  1. What a beautiful story you saw.

  2. I adore this, Patricia. How God speaks often leaves me speechless. I'm so glad He sent you that rock and tree to deliver this special message.

    Don't you love that William Stafford quote? So good...

  3. I tend to view rocks as something to trip over, or something to just stop me dead in my tracks. But this? This offers a new and healthy perspective: rocks, as something to hold us steady.

    Thank you for this.

  4. Your words -- "some remain as catalyst for greater growth" -- keep tumbling over and over in my mind. What a perfect image of the infinite worth, the value, the growth only possible because of some of the "rocks" in our lives. Thank you for deep thoughts and beautiful images this morning!

  5. I love the way He directs us to some bit of His creation, where He's left a lesson for us to see.

    Beautiful, this.

  6. smiles. you have captured a beautiful natural metaphor here...those rocks sometimes keep the soil beneath our feet...thanks for sharing this one..


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