Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Brotherhood of Those Who Planted Trees

Quite some time ago, I was privileged to be part of an amazing experiment in a different way of life.  I was a part of an intentional Christian community for the sum total of 5 years.  I was further subdivided into a small group of, mostly, men, who were basically the work crew that support the entire experiment.  I say experiment because that is one way to look at it.

The Highway Missionary Society (HMS) (later known as the Servant Community) was an attempt, sometimes successful,  sometimes not, to live more like what is described in the Book of the Acts of the Apostles in the Holy Bible.  The Church, at least for the first few centuries, lived a very shared lifestyle, taking in those in need, sharing with one another their material resources, and worshiping and eating together in homes in the Middle East  and generally around the Mediterranean basin, etc.  So how was HMS LIKE that?  It was a ministry that existed to serve, existed to give, existed to bow to King Jesus, and we shared our money as if it belonged to all of us, sort of.  Actually, that was the verbiage used, but in reality the only money I EVER held in my hands the entire time was the grand sum of $4 US.  That aside, I was blessed to be there, mostly (we won't go into that right now).

I have recently witnessed a barrage of remembrances coming at me via Facebook from several of my brethren from HMS, good memories, and that has brought a healing balm to my soul.  I think that God allowed this rehash of goodness at this time for the purpose of healing wounds.  Not everything was roses (with a nod to Mr. Rosas) during my tenure at HMS/Servant Community.  You've heard the old saying, "If you work your fingers to the bone, what do you get?  Bony fingers."  Well, I think another possible answer would be bloody fingers.  And then there's, "All work and no play..."

So, in the interest of further healing, I bring you a short-list of the good stuff of late:

Skipping grouse, Micheals story, Kings Table or the weekly Sunday pancakes. Treeplanters are serious consumers of large quantites of food.

A Trip To A Not-So-Dark Isle

There is an island, somewhere in Michigan where I was recently privileged to visit.  I am withholding the name of said island to protect it's secrecy.  At any rate, suffice it to say that it is really far up there and situated in one of the Great Lakes.   There, that narrows it down for you.

So, three of my brothers, as well as some friends, celebrated my illustrious father's 85 birthday while we were there!  He's an amazing specimen of humanity, my Dad.  For even now, despite his official status as an old fart, he seems to be able to run mental rings around the rest of us!  Pretty amazing.  The poor guy was very worried prior to our departure from his house, due to his belief that I didn't want him to drive.  The truth of the matter is that I have just as much confidence in HIS driving abilities as I do in my own.  I had mentioned that I was going to bring up my 4x4 for the trip, and he made it clear that that was NOT what he wanted to ride up in.  In the end, my truck had a dead battery, and I drove a mini-van, which we left in HIS garage.  We went up in my dad's 4-door sedan, of all the crazy things.  Dad has made this trip many, many times and has always done so in one of his sedans, despite the at times, 4-wheel drive conditions, somehow????

At any rate, the weather was incredible, the sun shining most of the time, the trees blazing in all their glory, and the air crisp and refreshing.  Ah, Michigan, I miss you.

The cabin in which we stayed is part of a very large piece of property, with miles of lakeshore to call it's own, and some really beautiful woods, fields and ponds as well.  The local wildlife includes, at times, white-tailed deer, black bears, cougar or mountain lion, wolves, coyotes, foxes, raccoons, bobcats, beavers, ruffed grouse, woodcock, and many others, making that island on of the most wild in Michigan.