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What Falls in My Yard

The beautiful sugar maple standing tall in the dooryard of your house is yours.  Its sap, its shade, its bark and branches, its trunk and treetop view; they’re all yours.  What’s also all yours is every lovely little leaf turned golden yellow and candy apple red that the wind shakes loose every autumn.  What becomes of all those leaves anyway?  Surely they don’t all fall in your yard.

I spent a good bit of time this weekend raking up in front and behind the house.  As I was making piles and wrangling tarps, the thought entered my mind: “I wonder how many of the leaves I’m laboring over fell from neighbor’s trees and I wonder how many of my leaves are making work for my neighbors?”  I thought about it some and concluded that there’s no telling exactly.  But I’m sure the number isn’t none.  Everyone in our neighborhood shares a little of their fallen foliage with everyone else.  It would be nearly impossible and more than a little silly for me to traipse up and down the street endeavoring to collect all my wayward leaves.  And I certainly wouldn’t expect the Joneses to come over and claim their runaways from out of my shrubs and fence lines.  The burden of autumn is just a collective one I suppose.  This is kind of how it is in a church family.  No matter the season, we all have troubles and trials that we are dealing with.  Most of these are burdens that we alone must bear.  But like the wind, the Spirit will often direct some of my troubles to your dooryard to share with me and some or yours to mine.  The burden of the world, for the church, is a collective one I suppose.  And I love the Lord for it.  “Joint heirs with Jesus as we travel this sod, for I’m part of the family, the family of God!”