We’ve finally gotten into the swing of things and while we’re still (as one of our wise friends said to Lindsey), acting as sandpaper to each other and smoothing out our rough edges, we can say that we’ve really gotten things under way at the Blackburn House. So it seems appropriate to kick off this year’s blog with a post about our house blessing.
Last Wednesday, we had an incredible time together, beginning our project with all the residents, our mentor, Jason Byassee, and our House Committee and friends of the project. Before we shared a pot-luck meal together, we prayed over the house and asked God to bless the residents and our work. Then we planted a tree on the deep slope, or “shoulder” of our yard. Martha read us a devotion from Richard Rohr reminding us that, “The greatest gift of centered and surrendered people is that they know themselves as part of a larger history, a larger Self. Their life is not about them! They are just one lovely instance of a Much Larger and More Wonderful Life, the very life of God. . . they only stand on the shoulders of their ancestors.”
Remembering we were part of a larger story, God’s story, and seeing how small our one year old apple tree was helped us to realize just how very young we were. Kelly explained it to us as we put our small tree in the ground and layered dirt on top of the roots;
“As we have prepared this spot of land with Martha for new life to flourish, we have started to notice how similar we are to this apple tree. We had to first dig a hole and expose the soil that for so long hidden away under the grass on this hill.
The soil that we dug out had to be broken up and treated with some nourishing materials, but we also added compost, which is essentially rotting, dying material. This tree is one year old and we were informed that this age is the best time for it to grow and take root.
So as we reflected on these things we couldn’t help but see our life as the Blackburn House in this tree. We are one year old and as you can see now, we are young.
There had to be some digging and breaking in order to get to where we are today. We have committed to exposing ourselves by being intentional with one another. In this holy act of serving each other we hope to continually die to ourselves and use these experiences to grow.
At one year old we are hopeful at the potential for growth. We are learning to dig our roots deeper and to allow the One who gives life to nourish and grow us. As we plant this beautiful tree, we see our reflection and we are encouraged and hopeful. We look forward to watching this tree and ourselves grow to the point of needing healthy pruning as well as the joy of witnessing fruit being produced.”
As we continue to protect and nourish this apple tree, we are grateful for all of those who have protected and nourished us along this journey.
Please look for some new insights into our life together on our website. Soon we will be publishing our weekly schedule as well as a list of books we will be reading together. Also, Kelly, Brandon and Erica will be posting some of their own thoughts and experiences as they join this new project.
We hope you’ll check back frequently and offer comments as we document our attempts at life together this year!