The Kingdom of God is like a redwood sapling on the edge of the exposed forest, the tender shoot daring to emerge out of the soil to make its presence felt in the order of things. Through its tender years, the autumn wind and rains, the winter cold an snow, the baking sun and parched summers and the promise of Spring, the sapling fixed its gaze upwards, all the while being shaped, strengthened, weakened and challenged by it surroundings. Through the trials of many early years, the redwood eventually stood grand, tall, fixed and with dignity.
Then, one late spring, a woodpecker flew in and perched on a branch of the redwood. In time it began to hammer incessantly and rhythmically into the flesh of the great trunk of the redwood, the sound echoing around the forest. Little by little, small splinters of wood shot off into the wind, leaving behind a visible gaping wound in the side of the pine.
The woodpecker hen softened the small chasm she had created in the redwood’s side from her frantic activity and reared her young until the day, out of the wound, came the young birds to begin new life, leaving the nest empty.
The redwood stood grand, tall, fixed and with dignity.