Linda’s Tree Service recently trimmed an ash tree. As a result of being poorly trimmed a long time ago, there were weak areas of rot and infestation at the point of growth. The situation was precarious! The new growth started about twelve feet up, and went on for forty plus feet. The risk to the house underneath was obvious. Then there were the special rose bushes, garden plantings, and fence.
As I watch, most eyes were on the guy way up in the tree with the chainsaw. Even with safety lines and spikes coming off his shoes, he was always in a dangerous position. I was sure something bad was going to happen.
I failed to account for Inidio. Inidio is a short, muscular, dark skinned man of few words. He has a gentle smile. The smile gives those around him a hint of peace, even when he is not saying anything! When I first arrived, Inidio’s attention was on those helping to clear away the branches and debris. He seemed to inject a bit of laughter and fun in every conversation, even when the receiver was not ready for it. Everything changed when the time came to tackle a difficult branch leaning way out over the house.
Inidio’s mood morphed from jovial to intense. His eyes were aware of everyone around him, yet focused on the trimmer, branches, and ropes. In a strange mixture of Spanish, English, and hand signals, I watched a dialogue unfold between Inidio and the man above. Others gave credit to the trimmer for protecting the house, garden, and roses. While he was good, Inidio was the eyes, thinking, and execution behind it all.
Truth invites us to community. Others carry truth. They can guide and protect. They can inject humor in our lives when we least expect it!
In an old story, events had taken a bad twist. So, “talking fast and hard like this, they [Paul and Barnabas] prevented them from carrying out the sacrifice that would have honored them as gods—but just barely.” (Acts 14.18) Community in conversation.