Leave The Gate Open

Image by David Mark from Pixabay

As I was doing some yard clean-up in my front garden the other day, I accidentally startled a wild rabbit who had been nibbling on the grass nearby.

Alarmed, he made a dash for the backyard, where I knew the rabbits had made a home in the dense shrubbery in the corner.

The only problem was that I’d closed the gate to the backyard. The rabbit couldn’t get to safety.

The rabbit looked at me nervously, then ran all the way around the perimeter of the fence to where there was another access point the bunnies could use to get into the backyard.

I felt bad that I’d closed off the direct route to his home, and vowed to always leave the back gate slightly ajar for my wild rabbit friends.

It struck me that there was a lesson here for believers.

When it comes to unbelievers, do we “leave the gate open,” so to speak, at our churches?

Or do we put so many obstructions in their way that they find it hard to reach the safety of God’s arms?

Read more

The Best Tree to Climb

Image by Pezibear from Pixabay

Did you climb trees when you were a child? (Or do you still?)

As a bit of a tomboy in my childhood, I was an inveterate tree-climber.

But I quickly learned that some trees were a lot easier to climb than others.

Some trees have rough bark, prickly needles or sticky, oozing sap: I wouldn’t even bother trying to climb those. Other trees might have smooth bark, but their branches were too close together or too high off the ground for a child to manage.

The old apple tree in my backyard was perfect, however. It had been climbed by generations of neighbourhood kids, with the result that much of the bark on the best branches had been worn smooth by little hands.

Its limbs had open architecture, making them as welcoming to children as open arms. And they were low enough to the ground that even the youngest tyke could clamber up.

That tree was a magnet for the neighbourhood kids, a favourite spot for us to gather. I have fond memories of it!

As I look back, it seems to me that we as believers should try to be a bit more like that old apple tree.

How?

Read more