21.7.05

The withered fig tree

It only took five minutes of being home from work to upset me. We've had plumbers in to sort out a water leak. I had to inspect it because I'm responsible for household matters (the official title is 'Domestic Deacon'). Well, they'd dug a trench in the garden and destroyed two small trees in the process. I can't tell you how frustrated I felt. It put me in a mood for most of the evening!

The trouble is we only rent the property and builders are contracted by the owner: my Church. I doubt complaining would do much good, the tree-killing-brother would only argue it was necessary. This is part of the fall-out of choosing to own nothing personally by living in community; sometimes you feel your say in things you care about is too easy to ignore. But, it is only a trivial matter and I chose to wave such rights when I signed up. Nonetheless it's amazing how much hold on you an object can have, even a couple of small trees.

If you think I've given in too easily, you're welcome to say so. What goes through my mind is that if I've surrendered my life then I have to be willing to accept the pains as well as the joys that go with that. I mean, I've chosen to lose my life in this world and gain it in the next so what do a couple of trees matter? (John 12) ...But somehow they do.

The title I've used above comes from a story of how Jesus cursed a tree when it produced no fruit. It was a living metaphore for his judgement on those who pretend to be alive but aren't generous with their life. I want to be generous enough to give away the goodness of my life so that many can be blessed as a result. Maybe I will complain and stir the waters a little, it's better than remaining stagnant.