Today’s special guest post is from Andy and Malaina Hollinger. The saints and their family recently spent a few days in Arizona with brother Tim. They returned home with a new sighting of Christ, and sat down to chronicle it.
Recently our family visited Tim Buss in Tucson, AZ.
We quickly found that the rumor is true. Tim Buss sees Jesus in EVERYTHING!!
During our time together we all enjoyed finding more of Christ in nature, movies, and especially our brother Tim. Since we got home we’ve realized something amazing……
We are seeing Tim in things! What?! Wait! that must be because there is so much of Jesus coming out of Tim!
So here is the first of hopefully many posts of “Seeing Tim in ———”
Seeing Tim (and Christ) in the Saguaro Cactus
A saguaro cactus is extremely durable and can live up to one hundred and fifty years. Towering over the desert, it is a symbol of the Southwest United States. When the rains come, the saguaro is able to absorb large amounts of water. This causes the cactus to visibly expand. The ridges that were once shrunken, now are filled, making the cactus almost round. Then, through the dry season, the saguaro slowly uses the water as needed. This is the way it survives the drought.
Affectionately known as Tucson Tim, we all know him as the brother from the desert, waiting in the wilderness for community. He is a thirsty brother! When he is engaged with other saints, he absorbs all the life he can, visibly growing and glowing with Christ. He then carries that life with him, sharing it with all the people he comes in contact with, just waiting for the next ‘rain’.
The long life span of a saguaro may be a sign to our brother. This also would answer the great mystery of why God postponed the widely predicted Rapture of September 2017; Tim hasn’t yet reached a ripe old age.
Saguaros are a monotypic genus by scientific classification. This means. This means (to the best of our knowledge) that the genus (classification rank below family) and the species (rank below genus) are described simultaneously. So they are the only species in the genus.
Tim is definitely a rare bird. There’s nobody like Tim! He is what he is. In so many beautiful ways…
OK, back to the cacti. Saguaros provide housing to several species of birds in an amazing way. Gila woodpeckers come along and carve out holes in the side of a Saguaro deep enough to build a nest safely inside completely hidden from view. When they come back the next season, instead of reusing a previous nest, they make a new one and leave a ready made nest for other species of birds!
This is such a great expression of what goes down at Tim’s house; this dude is THE most hospitable person I’ve ever met. He opened his home to us, took us on incredible adventures, to great restaurants and fed us in his home. We didn’t spend a dime.
He took over 500 pictures of our family and made an heirloom of a photo album/movie that we’ll cherish for years to come. This lit up a desire in us to go way beyond our current paradigm of hospitality and make a way for others!
Saguaros break out in a breathtaking bloom of large, white blossoms early each summer. These flowers are self-incompatible which makes them dependent on cross pollination to bear fruit. They are loaded with hundreds of stamens which mass produce pollen. Then, to make sure they increase, Saguaros utilize a redundant pollination system opening the flowers at night to attract bats and by day for honey bees and birds.
Brother Tim has “stamens” of expression of our Lord Jesus and His purpose that are really making some “pollen”! He has opened himself to brothers and sisters in Christ and to his fellow man who isn’t a believer to share Jesus. This guy loves sharing Christ! Even when others have taken from him over and over again. Even when there was no return. Waiting but active in pursuit of Christ. Confident that the “pollinators” feasting will surely distribute pollen to other flowers and there will be fruit! Hopefully fruit in Tucson!
OK y’all check this out: The pollinators.
We briefly mentioned bees, birds, and bats being Saguaro pollinators. Let’s hone in on the bats….
The nocturnal pollinator is a species of long nosed bat. Yep I said bat. Thats how determined Saguaros are to cross pollinate. They brave any fear of the dark and open up those precious white flowers all night long. To bats. Bats depict evil in many cultures. In some traditions bats are considered messengers of satan.
But some have a more positive outlook:
Bats have a sort of sonar system called echo-location that enables them to navigate with amazing precision at high speed. Some cultures connect this with an ability to hear spirits and perceive things that normally cannot be heard or seen.
Native Americans see many symbolic things in bats:
- Impartation of wisdom.
- Death and rebirth (bats go into caves/death and come out again in new birth) and death resulting in a new beginning. This transfers into symbols of transition and initiation.
So as Tim opens up his Jesus flower full of Jesus pollen, he attracts folks who carry and are hungry for the Life and Spirit of Christ!
The fruit of a saguaro is a beautiful pinkish-red, and each one contains around 2000 seeds. It is very edible and is prized by the local people. However, the fruit grows at the very top of the cactus and cannot be harvested by hand. Instead, a long pole is used to pick the fruit.
Traditionally, the fruit is made into syrup, and the seeds are dried in the sun. The syrup is used in the annual native rain ceremonies and very little is given to the public. Cooked over mesquite fires, it has a deep, sweet, and smoky taste.
Now if you’ve ever went to visit Tim (if you haven’t, you should), you know that he lives up the side of a mountain. It’s not easy to reach, and there are dangerous creatures all around his house. Not to mention that every plant that grows there has some kind of thorn or barb. But, every bit of the danger is outweighed by the fruit. The sweetness that comes from sharing life with Tim is precious and sacred. Jesus in Tim is deep, sweet, and smoky. So gentle, yet so raw, so beautiful and real, Jesus flows from Tim like prized syrup. That may have been a little sappy, but hey…
In the state of Arizona, the saguaro is protected by the law. Even if the cactus is on property you own, you are required to obtain a permit to remove it. There are huge fines for illegally cutting down or transplanting a saguaro. Some Native American tribes even consider them family, making them an honored symbol of the desert.
Brother Tim is no doubt anointed by God. He is under the protection of the Law of the Kingdom of God! Tim may not have sharp spines, but the Lord has given him the authority of His Kingdom as protection from any effort of the kingdoms of darkness! As we mentioned earlier, the Saguaro is a recognized symbol of the American southwest. So, we believe, is the anointing of our Lord on this dear brother, to be an icon of His Kingdom, a sign pointing to Jesus, in Tucson, Arizona!
We will sing for joy over your victory,
And in the name of our God we will set up our banners.
May the Lord fulfill all your petitions.
Now I know that the Lord saves His anointed;
He will answer him from His holy heaven
With the saving strength of His right hand.
Some boast in chariots and some in horses,
But we will boast in the name of the Lord, our God.
They have bowed down and fallen,
But we have risen and stood upright.
Save, O Lord;
May the King answer us in the day we call.