LIke a Tree Planted by Water
Words from today’s readings have begged me to ponder – repeated both in the psalm and in Jeremiah. The one who trusts in the Lord is like a tree planted by water. She sends out her roots by the stream and doesn’t fear when the heat of the summer comes. She is planted by streams of water, bearing fruit in due season, and with leaves that do not wither.
What is this trust in the Lord? I have mused about such trust, searching around in my heart for where I trust in God and where I have trouble trusting. I have come to realize that my deepest trust is a blind thing, crawling like a worm through the earth – like a root, in fact.
In the bright upper world of the mind, there are lots of arguments for and against the existence of a divine Creator. I have heard hundreds of arguments for and against. But below this categorizing, defining, word-filled realm, in the unfathomed core of my soul, I am as certain of God as I am of my own existence. We are connected there, God and I.
The realm of emotion is also a place of fickleness. Sometimes I feel God’s presence there and sometimes I have only ashes in my heart. I can feel a deep joy in a melody, the winging of a goose over the rooftops, the prisms in a snowflake. But just as quickly I can be crushed by loss, fear or illness. But in the place below my heart, in the dark certainty of my deeper being, God simply is “I Am That I Am.” And we are connected.
We are all trees planted next to that sure love that is the stream that waters us. But we have to sink deeply enough to find it, to bring it to consciousness. God is within, yearning that we feel our indelible connection, as much as God is without, in the deep sweep of the cosmos. It helps to pray. It helps to sing praises. All the moments when our minds and our hearts know God-help. But at the root – in the roots of each of us – there is another kind of knowing. At the root we simply belong. We rest in God. We are creatures and we bear the stamp of the Creator in our very being. Knowing ourselves, we can sense God breathing within us.
I’m not very good at living out of this place of knowing. I stumble around, conjuring up hatreds and fears, perplexities and guilt. I care what people think. I am less than candid about what I feel. I am afraid of being harmed. And yet, in the darkness my roots are still sipping the water of love from that stream that is God.
Hopefully I’ll get better and better at resting there instead of being changeable, duplicitous and uncertain. But regardless of what I do, my roots are lodged deep in the soil watered by God. I belong to my Creator. And I am loved.
May you find within yourself that deep certainty that God wishes for all of us – that you are loved entirely, that you belong completely, and that God will never let you go. May you know it in the dark place below all your ego’s machinations, in your roots in the dark, well-watered soil of being.