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Reflections from Wendy
Tenacity and Regeneration
A crepe myrtle tree stands at the entrance to a property. It is badly burnt but still displaying its fragile flowers on some branches. There is a green tinge on the burnt, blackened paddocks: new small growth as a result of rain. Not yet enough to feed the hungry livestock but a hope-filled sign of regeneration.
Farmers who yesterday were sad and down – overwhelmed by the scale of the damage to their property – give a small smile as volunteers finish a section of fencing. This fence will contain their stock. It is a step in the massive restoration work of their life and business.
A farmer loved her garden and was gutted when it burnt. But she now she feels brighter when she sees the roses bushes sprouting again. They have been pruned by volunteers, who came to help clean up her devastated garden.
The chat over a cuppa at lunch with the farming family is as important as the work the volunteers do that day. They hear about the story of the farm and what it means to this family. A chance to talk about what is precious and lost.
The resilience and tenacity of the people and the environment in the aftermath of devastation is a powerful reminder of the deep connections of this region. Connections to soil, place, ecologies and communities.
God’s tenacious grace abounds if we can only see it – in the rising sun of a new day, in a small job completed, in a friendly smile, in new growth. Yes, we grieve rightly – and deeply – for what was lost and destroyed. Yet we also continue to live to the dawning of changed, new life – surrounded by the tenacious and resilient grace of God.
Help us to grieve rightly
for what is
Help us to grieve remembering
you are with us
in our despair
Help us to see signs of new life
rising in our midst
inviting our attention
and leading us to you.
22nd February 2020