Sloughing off the Moss

Over the last few months, we were noticing that with heavy rainfall we were getting some water leaking into the church building. After getting advice from some roofers (which frankly, we didn’t think would solve the problem) we decided that what we really needed to do was bring in a friendly architect to give us a professional opinion.

It soon became clear that the first thing we needed to do was to get rid of the moss that had gradually been accumulating on our roof. This would do two things – firstly, it would allow the roof to function properly by letting the rainfall run down into the gutters as it should, rather than remaining trapped in the moss and then finding its way through the shingles! Secondly, it would allow us to see what lay under the moss to make a proper assessment of the condition of the roof and then decide what repairs might be needed.

Well, work has been progressing at a rate of knots this week, and our previously moss-green roof is gradually returning to its beautiful golden brown colour as our cedar shingles are cleared, treated and allowed to breathe. The weather is dry and sunny, and the natural cedar is almost audibly sighing in relief as the sunlight and wind is allowing it to fully dry and absorb not water but fresh air!

I tend to be quite a visual person, and I can’t help but think that there is a lesson in here for all of us, as I look at the roof gradually coming back to life.


In order for us to be brought back to life, touched and healed by God and in full receipt of the fruits of the Holy Spirit, might we too need to slough off the moss, so to speak?

What is getting in way of our receiving what God wants to give us? Might there be some ‘rain’ finding its way into our lives, not because it’s still raining but because we’re not letting go of the rain that fell a long time ago?

Of course, I don’t know what that will mean for you, but my own experiences tell me that sometimes there are things that we retain and keep holding onto that are damaging to us – as if we’re standing outside in the cold, soaking wet, when the storm has long since passed. I think if we actually saw someone we loved and cared about doing that, we’d not need to think about it much before we bustled them indoors and insisted they change into warm, dry clothes.

Why? Because we know it’s not good for us to stay cold and damp for too long. Hey, we all get caught out in the rain sometimes – you and me both. But let’s not load ourselves up with “buckets of rain, buckets of tears” and carry them around with us for too long. Mourn, grieve, lament for sure – that’s healthy, and if we fail to do those things we’ll be in trouble just as though we’d pretended there had been no storm and went straight back out again when we’re still wet through.

But there comes a time to dry ourselves off, dry our tears maybe, and put our summer clothes on again. May I encourage you to have a think and a pray – a chat with God, who loves you – about the moss on your own roof. Grief, guilt, shame, regret, loss, anger, unforgiveness…? We’re only human, and these things happen to all of us, but you know what? God still loves us.

Maybe it’s time to acknowledge that all that stuff – whatever it might be for you – has been up there too long. Maybe it’s time to accept that yes, it’s been there and damage has been done, but now it’s time to slough off the moss and start to feel the sunshine again.

May God richly bless you and smile upon you.

Simon Lace, 09/02/2022