Thursday, September 01, 2005

That spindly bush

And God appointed a spindly bush...

It was just a spindly bush outside a tired old police station, in a small town in Mississippi. Just a scraggly bush, a wannabe tree with anemic, red-tipped branches just trying to find the sky...

A few months ago an officer plowed into the bush with the back of his car. Should'a been the end of that bush then, but it bounced back...bedraggled and bruised. And totally no respect...

"We're gonna cut that bush down," the police chief said. After all, it's an eyesore that is always in the way. Already scratched its share of cruisers...and we have a reputation to keep. "We're gonna cut it down." But somehow, the deed wasn't done, left for another day -- always a more important task on the radio.

Just a spindly bush outside a tired old police station, in a small town in Mississippi.
Just a scraggly bush, a wannabe tree with anemic, red-tipped branches just trying to find the sky...


Surely Providence didn't plan for a bush like this!

"Let's cut it down..." the good people said.

But then, the rains came down, and the floodwaters rose.

The Hurricane beat upon that small town of Waveland, and the flood tide swelled on the sea. The officers responded, as good officers will...and made their way out into the parking lot, when knee-deep waters threatened the citizens.

The officers, dispatchers and other personnel made a chain to reach high ground, and help others from distress. But the flood tide came down from wine-dark skies, 30 feet high...from the sea a mile away. Death was on the tide...

Good plans were swept away.

And they would have been gone...except for that scraggly bush!

There, at just the right spot, at just the right time, in their exact moment of need, stood the spindly bush...offering its untrimmed branches as life-saving hands, kind hands, hands worn from abuse and lack of care...but hands strong enough to hold 14 officers from their appointment with death.

For five hours, 14 officers and personnel held on to the spindly bush, and prayed for strength...strength for themselves, and strength for that bush, that it would hold in the tide.

And it held.

And they are alive.

Now a hand-carved wooden cross adorns its branches, a quiet symbol of thanks for the Life that gives new life...mysterious Providence in a storm, revealed in an unwanted bush....

Friend, what is that spindly bush in your life?

Perhaps something totally taken for granted, through which destiny will speak?

Perhaps some past token of Providence, scorned and neglected, through which your life will soar?

Perhaps some unwanted shrub in the parking lot of your life, which you've just wanted to cut down...

Look to Providence in the flood!

For He is there, and His ways past finding out. Trust those ways, and find new life...

Alleluia!

___________________________

Flood assistance:

If perhaps you would like to be a "spindly bush" to someone in need, you can donate at Feed the Children, an Oklahoma City, OK charity recommended by Allen.

Or, you can choose from a list generated by Glenn.


2 comments:

Patrick O'Hannigan said...

What a great story, told well. I've linked to it at this post.

Loy Mershimer said...

Thanks, Patrick. It is an amazing story, which I had to write about...so laden with providential implications -- implications that can help us sort through the rest of this disaster.

Loy