Last June, a bit of a windstorm visited us on its way to the Great Lakes or some other exotic location. In the way of pre-emptive souvenirs, it left a number of small dead branches scattered around the place. And in the way of those “I like you better than the others” mementos, a one-ton mulberry branch carefully dropped across the electric fence that formerly divided our small horse paddock into two smaller sections.
Being eager to get to mid-Ohio in time for Paul and Debee’s Golden Anniversary, I left the larger than life-size reminder where it fell. Randa’s brother, Kevin, came over and sawed the big beast up into smaller, more manageable beasts. They stacked them against the bottom of the huge mulberry tree from whence they came. Sort of a memorial of sorts, I suppose.
Just a few minutes ago, I was down at the scene of the crime, trying to remove the remnants of the whole sordid affair. You know, promote healing, destroy the evidence of my year of neglected homestead duties, etc. Also, since I have a friend in Wichita who likes to work with “green wood,” and I am planning a trip to the area anyway, I decided to haul some of it out to him.
So, I backed my little ’97 Ranger (Ford, not Forest) over into the vicinity and dropped the tailgate. I initiated the loading session by wrestling a chunk about the size, shape, and weight of a teenage walrus into the back of the truck. Then, I picked up two much smaller pieces that had been lying between the walrus and the tree. I could not believe what I saw when I picked up the second one!
No, and I’m sure some of you folks will be right disappointed, there was no coiled up rattlesnake hiding underneath. What was there was equally surprising, less threatening, and generally much more enjoyable. On the side of this piece of “dead” wood which had been lying there for eleven months and two weeks, was a very green and very alive mulberry sprout!
Enough sap had remained in that section of the branch to nourish a small eruption of growth a few inches long that included at least six fully formed leaves!
Somehow, through the remainder of a long, hot summer, across the duration of a long, dry autumn, through the full extent of a fairly dry winter as well as a drier than usual spring, that lone segment managed to store, keep, and retrieve in due season sufficient nourishment to form a single green sprout.
If this thing happen “in a dry wood,” literally, imagine what generous growth the Lord will provide those who are fed by his Word, nourished by his Spirit, and consecrated by his love and grace!