Have you ever seen any of these oak leaves in our doorway here at JCPC? They are leaves that find their way into our buildings whenever we get a storm or a windy day. Over twenty years ago, oak trees were planted around our facilities with the hope that someday majestic oaks would shade our property. What the planters couldn't foresee is the constant pilgrimage these uninvited guests, these oak leaves, entering into our buildings whenever a door is opened.
I must confess that I find them to be an annoyance and I'm sure Richard Myer would agree that they cause a lot of clean-up work. However, last week I found myself looking at these leaves in a different manner. You see it takes opened doors to invite these leaves into our buildings and that's a good thing. During preschool recognition Sunday, Gray pointed out that there are several thousand Friends of JCPC and that as our invited guests they regularly enter JCPC to grace us with their ministry or mission. Gray mentioned that when you add up 175 preschoolers, their parents and grandparent you average about 500 people visiting JCPC weekly. We truly are impacting lives! When you add in our 13 AA meetings, our scouting programs, CanCare, Fine Arts Academy, etc. the number reaches up into the thousands each month.
Throughout the week our doors are opened and the leaves enter. Could it be that these uninvited leaves are really signs of the footsteps of our invited guests?!! When I allowed my annoyance of these leaves to be reframed into a deeper sense of appreciation for their message I noticed a shift in me. It was as if God's timeline became more visible for the moment. The faithful who planted these wonderful oak trees had hoped in the unseen. They could not have possibly seen these symbolic leaves when they were planting the saplings. However, the hope certainly was based in what Hebrews 11:1 states:
"Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see."
Since the planting of Church of the Hills which is now JCPC, thousands upon thousands have experienced God's hospitable love in this place. How do I know? I've learned to read the leaves!