You cannot walk into the Redwoods and come out unchanged. The impact may be subtle or great, known or unknown, yet there will be a change to your soul just like there has been for every one who has passed through the experience. I have tried to understand what specifically causes the shift. Could it be the trees, awesome, in general silence, and always present? Is it the quiet sounds of the rivers and creeks pushing their way through the trees? Perhaps the contrast found in colors, textures, and smells. Whatever, there is always a telltale scare left on the inside which shows itself to those who see.
As I walk out, changed again in ways I do not understand, I emerge into a world subtly different from when I left. I find myself wondering how others will respond to the change I see. Will the difference I sense be recognized? Is there a coating of Redwood dust on my soul which can never be erased? Could there be an accusation of one kind or another awaiting my return?
I’m not the first to sense the latter. In all encounters there is a question buried within. Sometimes it is a greeting a grace laced with a question of how the receiver will respond. On other occasions, in word or in form, we will experience a metaphoric Pilot, coming out and asking, “What charge do you bring against this man?” (John 18.29)
Whatever the reception the greater question we must ask ourselves centers on “who” is returning to the world? Are we coming as a people of compassion, acceptance, and love? Are we determined to execute justice regardless of how it is touches the young? Can we forgive others and free ourselves to live with the opportunity of choice? Will we accept the gifts Divinity free pours on all?
Today a person emerged from their sleep. This person goes by your name and mine. I hope and pray the person others meet is know by the best God offers each – hope, mercy, and most of all love.
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