Blessed are those who trust in the Lord
and have made the Lord their hope and confidence.
They are like trees planted along a riverbank,
with roots that reach deep into the water.
Such trees are not bothered by the heat
or worried by long months of drought.
Their leaves stay green,
and they never stop producing fruit.
March in northern Thailand is something to be endured. Dry season lasts from November until April. So by March, the hot, dusty air is stifling. Afternoon highs can reach 100°F. Smoke and ash from slash and burn agricultural practices throughout the region make for burning eyes and irritated sinuses. Many people develop chronic coughing and congestion. Yet somehow, our Thai trees produce an abundance of fruit in March and April, from mangosteens, to peaches, marian plums, mangoes, and mulberries. Deep roots support the drought tolerance of these trees so that they can provide a sweet consolation for birds and humans during this challenging season
Last week, nine Thai seminary students and three staff from McGilvary College of Divinity explored the theme of trees in scripture. They spent a day making contemplative artwork and prayerfully considered what the Holy Spirit might have to teach them through the metaphor of trees. Each participant ended up with a unique piece of artwork representing their spiritual reflections. The tree painting above was produced by one of the workshop participants.