Tuesday, February 14, 2017

“An optimist is a man who plants two acorns and buys a hammock.” ― Jean de Lattre de Tassigny

         For me, the word “hammock” is a verb.  It’s not a thing; it’s something I do.  Now I’m an extra large man and afraid of falling, so I need a strong, reliable hammock in which to hammock.  Pawleys Island Hammocks are the only ones I trust to support me and allow me to hammock while I listen to God and receive the sermons and blogs He sends me while hammocking.  But here’s the thing, a hammock is a wonderful way to describe Christianity.  Oh, not that it just hangs around unused in the shade, but that the hammock itself represents all that is good and beautiful about Christianity.  As you can see from the picture on the right, a Pawleys Island Hammock is made from many different strands, woven in a pattern specified by the maker, and tied in such a way that these many things become a whole that is a beautiful entity.  No one strand can hold a person, it takes many, woven together, tied together with the love of Christ, and held in place by the oak spreaders at each end which represent the church universal.  It takes a structure made just the right way by the hands of the Maker to hold all the strands at the right distance apart and yet holding them so that they work perfectly together to create a most beautiful thing (for me at least).  If you have ever been able to relax in a Pawleys Island Hammock (I know there are other brands and other kinds, but for today, for this blog stay with me), you will know what a wonderful feeling it is.  You would think that the rough cords would be uncomfortable, and in many ways they would be, but not when woven together the way the Pawleys Island craftsman do it.  It feels soft, strong, and comfortable all at the same time.  When we are authentically the church, we are woven like that, no matter how rough some of us may be.  Together, in the hands of the Master Weaver and held in our proper places by the institution of the Holy Church, we can support the weight of the biggest sinner and more than one.   Working together, we can offer comfort, solace, peace, and a place to be safe without any one of us taking more stress than any other.  That’s the wonder of a Pawleys Island Hammock, all the parts work perfectly together, held the right distance apart where necessary and touching in other places.  It also takes the Hand of the Master to tie the knots that will never slip, will hold forever, and that gives the whole thing the strength it needs to be such a beautiful thing.  I have been fortunate to have a Pawleys Island Hammock for the last ten years, but you can’t leave them unused and exposed to all that life may throw at it and expect it to last forever.  While these hammocks will last a long, long time, like all of us, and like the church, we need to be renewed, rewoven, and re-tied in order to continue to serve.  If we all want to serve, to offer the best that we have for God, we have to be willing to submit to be woven together, tied together and spread apart in just the right way to be of the greatest use to God.  No one of us is more important than any other.  Every strand is important, and while the hammock will not fall because of the loss of a single strand, we need to make sure that every strand is strong and together with the rest of us.  While Christianity may not be about you individually, it IS about all of us together.  You are important if you can see your contribution to the Church Universal just as each strand of the hammock is necessary to the beauty of the whole.  The next time you are able to hammock in something as wonderful as a Pawleys Island Hammock, you think about how the comfort, peace, and love you are feeling is coming from so many different strands beneath you, working together, cradling you with love and keeping you from falling.  Now that makes “hammock” a verb in more ways than I can count and should make you Thank God and think about all the blessings He has sent your way.
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