I’ve only recently discovered Lore Ferguson’s words, but I resonate with her and am always moved by her wisdom. She also shares some space with me over at A Deeper Church. It’s good to have her here today.
Swinger of Birches and No More
There is a poem by Robert Frost I love. I suppose that’s juvenile of me and I suppose I don’t care if it is.
“One could do worse than be a swinger of birches,” it ends and I always agree.
Whenever I am in the wild, or as we Americans call our twelve dollar campsites in our North Face gear and purified water in BPA free bottles “in the wild,” I think about Enoch and I think about birches.
Here in the Ozark Mountains I have made a fire, or kept a fire, my companions are a mile hike away, while one reads his bible on the bank of the river in front of me. I am not alone, but I feel alone.
The birch and the oak and the poplar trees cathedral over me and I do church where three have gathered and hemmed me in: Father, Son, Holy Spirit, and me. Is that sacrilegious? I ask myself. To call this wooded sanctuary church where there is only me and the Three? Where I alone worship? Where the Father parents, the Son joins, and the Holy Spirit helps?
My most frequent prayer these days is Maranatha: Come, Jesus, come. But what I really mean is: Take me, Jesus, take me.
There is so much to be gained in this world and so much more to lose. I ask Jesus to find me having lost. Lost this world. Lost to its pleasures and seasons, North Face tents, and perfect fires. Lost to dreams and hopes and marriage and jobs. Found alone in Him.
This is not for the fainthearted, I tell myself this more in my cathedral of birches. To walk only with God, giving no thought for anything, or anyone, else.
The leaves rustle in the wind around me, a carpeted floor of them and a colored ceiling of more. Here is what I know: one could do worse than be a swinger of birches and one could do worse than walk with God and be no more.
One could do worse, but I pray I will not.