Thanks to Kathy Escobar I am celebrating Arbor Day early this year.
plant new trees.
trees that have the roots of equality from the very beginning.
trees that gain nourishment from a free-er gospel and soil that is enriched with freedom and hope instead of fear and absolute certainty.
trees that have men and women and rich and poor and educated and uneducated and black and white and gay and straight all tangled up together from the beginning.
trees that are tended to gently and naturally instead of pumped with unnatural growth agents & pesticides that try to advance the progression of development to “catch up faster” to other churches that will always have the advantage of time and power on their side.
trees that get their strength from the beatitudes not the latest and greatest how-to-grow books and conferences.
trees that are well-watered by people who are tired of talk and are ready for action.
trees that over time will flourish and bring shade and fruit and all kinds of other goodness for generations to come in the communities & cultures where they are planted.
a diverse ecosystem of trees that more accurately reflect the fullness of God’s image.
Today I am celebrating all the gardeners who tirelessly tend in hopes of our children and grandchildren walking in the shade of a forest with boughs of love, equality, justice and freedom, all intertwined forming the most lovely of canopies.
Today I am celebrating nurseries (such as Fuller Theological Seminary) where future gardeners are taught the principles of “organic” gardening.
Today I am celebrating those who provide fertilizer for these new trees. Groups like Christians for Biblical Equality and The Gay Christian Network as well as individuals such as Wade Burleson and Rachel Held Evans.
Today I am inspired to keep tending, keep fertilizing, keep pruning. Planting trees requires vision so I will chose to keep the picture of the forest in my mind with my daughter and my son dancing beneath its boughs.
Today I will remember the planters who have gone before me and fought for the rights that allow me to participate in this amazing celebration.
Thank you, Kathy. I will never look at Arbor Day the same way again.