Genesis 2:8-9

I own a small, simple hammock that fits snugly into a bag about the size of a coconut. It’s lightweight, easy to throw into the back of a car or clip onto a backpack. It’s no trouble at all, really, until you take it out.

As simple as the product is, it requires something that cannot fit into its bag. You need two trees to string it between, but not just any trees. They must be strong enough to bear the weight, small enough that the straps will fit around the trunks, and spaced far enough apart so that the hammock can be stretched taut. 

Today’s verses let us glimpse the garden’s luscious greenery. Life for the new human will be framed between two kinds of trees in the middle of Eden, the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. In a sense, God invites Adam to stretch out his hammock and exist between these two trees. The trees are strong, small enough to fit the straps, and just far enough apart to stretch the hammock until it’s taut. Adam could kick up his feet, relax, and swing. 

Our gifts, skill sets, and attributes create the hammocks of our lives and make each one of us unique. What fulfills and pleases me may not do the same for you. We carry these hammocks with us, but to fully utilize them, we need what only God can offer us. God provides places where our gifts and talents, our truest selves, find a home. 


Where do your gifts and talents find a home? How do you sense God’s involvement in that work?


Stretch us, God, and use us. Make clear to us the place where we are to be. Show us how to be our truest selves. Amen.

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