The fallen

It lay like a fallen giant on the forest floor.  An ancient tree simply fell to the ground on a quiet afternoon among the trees surrounding our cabin.  As it crashed to the ground, it fell across a young tree splitting it, bending branches to the ground.  As I looked on the damage, I realized that collateral damage involved not only the fallen giant but those trees who were growing up in its shadow.  Its falling was not a total shock for woodpeckers had spent time carving the tree in search for bugs and other tasty morsels hidden beneath its bark.  Weakened and scarred beyond what any tree could withstand, it fell.

Just today, a pastor shared his concern over the tragedy of a fallen colleague.  He was concerned about the others who had looked to this individual for leadership and asked, "Will they lose hope and give up?  Will they become another statistic?"  Community offers strength and connection yet it serves as a point of danger if we totally lean on a personality.  Warning signs begin to appear like the holes drilled by dizzy headed woodpeckers. I recall the words of a dear friend years ago who expressed his deep desire to "finish well."  Fallen trees remind me of my vulnerability and also provide determination to stand strong to the end.    
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Boiling Springs, PA 17001
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