There are lots of familiar images in the readings for today. In reading both the text from Jeremiah and the psalm it’s easy for me to see a tree planted near water “stretching out its roots to the stream” (JER) and “yielding its fruit in due season” (Psalm 1) because a river runs through the back of our property and we are blessed with many trees that will be leafing out within a couple of months. There are some spring days when we worry about the river overflowing its banks but rushing water or damage to the trees is rare. It is miraculous to me to walk around in the spring and observe the growth that has taken place – without any fanfare, silently and imperceptibly over the winter.
Both Jeremiah and the psalmist are comparing us to these trees. Of course there are broken branches in some cases – usually from winter wind – but mostly we can count on the strength of the roots and the trunks of the trees to persevere and grow. It gives me hope to consider this comparison, especially when I am not feeling very effective or prolific in projects or when the strictures of winter seem too harsh. All I need to do is look up from my typing and see the tree outside my window standing tall and silent against the morning sky. Two bluejays have just landed in its branches without any assistance from the tree itself.
So it is with my life (and yours). A readiness to offer space for another is enough as we wait for a later recognition of the growth that manifests even just because of the waiting.