We were taking a little hike to see the Octopus Tree. We didn’t really know what to expect and were anxious to get a glimpse of this wonder of God’s creation. When the tree came into view we were quite surprised by the shape and size of the tree. But that wasn’t the only thing that was a surprise to us that day.
The Octopus Tree is really a Sitka Spruce tree. That particular tree grows in abundance on the West Coast and we had already seen many of those trees. This particular tree measures more than 46 feet in circumference and has no central trunk. Instead, limbs extend horizontally from the base by as much as 16 feet before turning upward. It is 105 feet tall and is estimated to be between 250 to 300 years old. God has a way of bringing serendipities to us that bring delight as we learn about His creation wonders. The Octopus Tree was one of those delights and surprises, but so were Lee and Joan.
As we walked up the path we noticed a man taking a picture of his wife. We waited till he took the picture and then offered, “Would you like us to take a picture of both of you?” They both said that they would appreciate that and so we took their picture and then they reciprocated by taking ours (using each other’s cameras, of course). Then we chatted for a bit and discovered that this couple was only recently married just a year ago. Their mates had both passed away and both figured they would be single for their remaining years. But God had other plans and brought them together. Both are followers of Jesus and it is the Spirit of God that witnessed to us that these were part of our Christian family. Joan plays the accordian and has has had many opportunities to play for folks in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Joan told us that she always ends her concerts for those folks with “Jesus Loves Me.” And she always sees heads pop up that had been slumped forward throughout the concert. It was a note that indicated how people can remember the earliest truths they had been taught that never leave them.
Sometimes God allows us to be used by His Spirit to remind people of His great and awesome love that keeps on reaching out to His people in calling them to repentance and faith in Him. It was a very pleasant surprise that brought Lee and Joan across our path. And we are grateful for the love of God that is at work within them in reaching out to others.