Saturday, January 09, 2010


I opened Facebook up a few minutes ago and had a message awaiting me. I remember awhile back when this guy sent me a friend request and him saying hello to me but as far as I know we had never really talked. I more than likely looked at the list of friends we shared and realized that we at least had that in common like it is with most of my FB friends...most of whom I have never talked to. Turns out he has been reading my blog for a couple years and it also turns out that our journeys out of religious performance based living also share many similarities.

Apparently what prompted him to send the message was his desire to share with me a book he is reading. He said that every time he picks it up he has this thought..."I gotta tell Kent about this book, he'll love it". You don't have to spend much time on my blog to come to the conclusion that I love trees and am fascinated with them. Something he shared with me from this book reminded me of a story from one of the books written by my favorite garden writer, Ken Druse. It speaks to a life of hope in the future and it involves planting trees. It stands in stark contrast to a conversation I had earlier this week with a Christian who has no hope in the future for humanity at all, but only the hope that he will be saved from all the crap and whisked away to a better place in the sky someday, and they said to me that they would prefer it to be today. They just wanted their life here to end because they had nothing to live for or look forward to.

I don't know if Helen Stoddard from the book I mentioned is a Christian or not but I resonate with Helen's attitude much more than I do the tired hopeless attitude of the Christian I ran into a few days ago....and something about that just leaves me puzzled and sad. It seems a lot of the American Christian eschatological perspective has just left a lot of Christians depressed...anxious...frustrated....angry....scared...and just hanging on for the escape pod out of this world before it burns. I wonder what those types of people are thinking when, or if for that matter, they happen to take the time to plant a tree, when they are convinced that we are near the end of the world or if they are hoping that we are near the end of the world? Once again I'm left appreciating Helen's attitude and hope for tomorrow which kept this elderly lady planting little saplings up to the time she fell asleep to this world, always keeping in mind the restful comforting cooling shade it would provide to the person that would occupy in the future the piece of ground she presently was left caring for.

Eternal life means something far different to me these days and in a wonderful way it makes me want to keep planting trees in this beautiful garden the Creator has given us and invited us to join together with him in caring for and enjoying so that even those that come after us will find a beautiful garden for themselves to do the same in.

It's too cold here today to plant a tree, but on the first day of this coming Spring when that is possible...that's gonna be one of the first things I do...if I am graced with the ability to do so.

Here is a slide show connected to the book my friend gave me a heads up on. Enjoy......The Life And Love Of Trees


zinger said...

I wonder if that is why some Christians are so skeptical of those who try and do things to make the world a better place. What if we could help bring an end to poverty and hunger and famines and war, what if countries beat their wmd into plows and turned their war machines into affordable housing... I know all about the human condition sin nature and all but what if.... I wonder if that kind of change wouldn't freak out a certain kind of Christian more than all the darkness and evil in the world... What if the world got better and Jesus didn't need to come and bring the "lifeboat"...

Kind of makes you wonder where all the 'Christians' were when people were marching for peace and against the bomb. I too long for a world where there is hope for our children. In some ways I do see that there has been positive change. Politics aside it is wonderful to see an american of African descent in the White House.

Cheers Jon

Kent said...

And Jon....I'm glad to see the long line of white male presidents broken also with a black man.

And as to your first comments.....I think all of that would freak the christians out and they would be yelling......NO, this isn't suppose to happen.

Hell, ya start talking about the world wide church/body of Christ that knows no borders and they get all nervous and freaked out because they start hearing ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT instead.

Wayne informed me that next Fridays podcast is titled The Certainty of Ignorance. I sent him this quote as a suggestion for a topic of conversation. He said it turned out to be a really good conversation.

"Ignorance does not result from what we don’t know! Ignorance results from what we think we do know—but don’t! Most ignorant people are, in fact, quite certain."

Religious training makes us ignorant because it binds us in absolutes and certainty and in actuality they are anything but absolute and certain, but the students of that training are the only ones who can't see that.

sparrow girl said...

I am also a tree lover and I enjoy the beautiful pictures on your blog! I have wonderful memories of my father taking me through the woods when I was young and teaching me the names of the different trees. Thanks for sharing!

Kent said...

sparrow girl, I spent so much of my childhood in the woods.