My wife and I are on vacation and visiting some relatives, my wife’s uncle and aunt. We really like them, and it has allowed us to see Ohio again for the first time in many years. We are also visiting other friends, for instance one of the pastors who officiated at our wedding, and the archpriest responsible for our becoming Eastern Orthodox, etc. This is also the weekend of my 45th high school class reunion. So, this has been a time of reminisces and mildly bewailing / mildly laughing at our various ailments as our bodies have aged. One of the visits was a little sad, the wife of the person we visited had to stare hard at me to remember me. And yet, her husband and she were responsible for bringing me back to the Lord when I was an older drug-abusing teenager. During our visit, her husband had to remind her various times of events that had just happened within the last few weeks, but she was readily able to remember events from 60 years ago [they are in their 80’s]. It saddened my wife and I to see that, but it again reminded me of how the years have passed.
During our visit to my wife’s uncle and aunt, her uncle took me on a tour of the property. It is a beautiful farmland Ohio property, far enough away from anything that his “kids” can take target practice on the property and no one will call the police. There is a great hill where his grandchildren can go sledding in winter, etc. In many ways, it is a reminder that Norman Rockwell used to paint real people in real settings. This is one of those settings. During the tour, her uncle showed me the tree stump in the photograph above. The story was that he had needed to chop the tree down for good reason. Of course, he thought that it was dead. But, as you can see, and as surprised him, this past spring, a new shoot sprang out. He is letting it go. He wants to see if a new tree will begin growing out of the old stump, a tree that has no good reason to be chopped down. [He does not chop trees down on a whim.]
I saw it and immediately whipped out my cell phone and took a photograph. I have titled it “Resurrection.” After seeing how my friends and I have aged, with the prospect of my 45th high school class reunion coming up tonight, I found this a comforting photograph. It reminds me that after death comes the resurrection. It reminds me that my friend, who can no longer clearly remember me, will someday have a new body in a new heavens and a new Earth. It also reminds me that even here on Earth, out of traumatic events, new life can still come. In this life, the scars of the traumas may remain and be clearly seen. But, even in the midst of the destructive scars, new life can spring up. Yes, this was a sight worth seeing and a photograph worth taking.
The hand of the Lord came upon me and brought me out in the Spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley; and it was full of bones. Then He caused me to pass by them all around, and behold, there were very many in the open valley; and indeed they were very dry. And He said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?”
So I answered, “O Lord God, You know.” …
Therefore prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Behold, O My people, I will open your graves and cause you to come up from your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. Then you shall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves, O My people, and brought you up from your graves.