New Perspectives: Healing Flames by Rev. Heather McCarrel

Photo by Saugeen Times

What a week we just had.  It began with terrifying news that unfolded in Saskatchewan at the James Smith Cree Nation that left 10 people dead and another 18 injured and ended with the announcement of Queen Elizabeth II’s death on Thursday September 8th, 2022.

Each story left us feeling untethered in one way or another.  Thankfully despite the sad headlines God’s presence continued to be on the move inviting us to look up and see beauty as it unfolded.

Have you noticed?  The tree tops are beginning to look as though they are on fire with flames of red, yellow and orange foliage.  Looking up is the only logical stance when sad news surrounds us.

The autumn leaves this week reminded me of how God calls us forth from difficulties into new beginnings.  Take for example what happened when the Hebrew people were under the yoke of slavery and trouble surrounded them on all sides.  God called an unlikely hero to save them all.

Moses was out tending the flock on Mount Horeb when he saw a peculiar sight. The angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush.  He looked, and behold, the bush was burning, yet it was not consumed.  God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” (Exodus 3:1-5)

Why did God use a humble bush?  Why didn’t God call to Moses from a towering tree?  The picture of God speaking from a lowly bush reminds me of a father stooping down to talk to his  children. (Reforesting Faith, Seeth)

Also, note that God did not speak to Moses until Moses noticed the burning bush.  If we want to hear from God, especially in times of sadness, we need to pay attention to the miracles God places in front of us – even if it means turning off the computer, cell phone or television.

May we all hear the call of the trees to look up and pause long enough to breath in the undeniable healing of God’s renewing presence.

As Elizabeth Barrett Browning wrote, “Earth’s crammed with heaven, and every common bush afire with God: but only they who see, takes of their shoes.”

May we all find reason to take off our shoes this coming week!