Sometimes the forest is dense and there is no path. The trees tower over you. The underbrush can be gnarly and covered with brambles. There seems to be no clear way to find the path out of the forest to a place where everything is clear and smooth.
Perhaps, though, the real beauty of a forest is the sense of silent entrapment, the quiet that includes only forest sounds. That may well be the kind of solitude I need in these confusing days. The forest with no clear path is a poignant picture of my current life . . . no direction, no clearly marked path, just the solitude of the forest that embraces me.
The Bible speaks of the splendor of the forest. Within that splendor, I can find my way again. Illness, transition to a new place, the loss of full-time ministry, the loss of my friends and my home church have been disconcerting. But there is still the splendor of the forest, the sunlight that streams down through leaves of green, and the everlasting hope that God is still, and always, near me. Sometimes that is enough. Sometimes.