I’m Just Wood

Picture: Fenland Black Oak Project

Esther does a weekly chat about spiritual stuff and what’s on her mind. Yesterday, in her inimitable way she told the story of the prophet Elijah challenging the prophets of Baal to a contest – whose God could bring down fire on a pile of damp wood. Esther talked about feeling like damp wood…

Musing… the soggy and pretty useless feeling… I identify with that.

I’m reading the story of Job… He’s lost his home, possessions, reputation… he’s sick physically and mentally… he’s criticised by his friends… This morning he says: ‘I waste away like rotting wood…’ We have rotting wood in our garden… posts and fencing…

Musing… I know the crumbling, past-their-best, less-useful-than-previously, about-to-disintegrate feeling too.

I was at Men’s Shed yesterday morning. Men were busy making things with wood…; Michael was leading a group making bird boxes, bat boxes and bug boxes that had been requested; Peter and John were making trestles for an event in June; Jerry and Martin were making planters for local gardens.

Musing… being useful wood, providing homes, places of refuge, strong support or containers for growth.

Yesterday’s news included the story of a 5,000-year-old oak tree that was found near Downham Market, in 2012, that a local farmer found while planting potatoes.

After ten years of careful crafting, it’s been fashioned into a stunningly beautiful 13m table, that Princess Ann unveiled in Ely Cathedral this week.

Musing… being beautiful wood, that polished wooden bowl or sculpture, St Peter’s words… the beauty of ‘…your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit.’


…What sort of wood am I?… Damp and soggy? Rotten and crumbling? Strong and useful? Polished and beautiful?

…The transformation process… an ordinary piece of wood into something useful and beautiful… an ordinary person into someone useful and beautiful… and the skill of the one who brings about that transformation.

…Elijah’s damp wood is consumed by his God’s supernatural fire… Job finishes ‘old and full of years’ – well preserved!

Picture: Terry Harris
Picture: Keith Heppell

Esther’s ‘Wet Wood and Fire’: https://www.facebook.com/chaplaincylowestoft/videos/326349322904267

Bible References: 1 Kings 18, Job 13:28, 42:17, 1 Peter 3:4

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