Inspiration & Encouragement

For the Love of a Tree


There is a very tall tree in my front yard.

As a female of above average height, normally, I am quite fond of anything in which I get the chance to look up because it gives me the rare opportunity to feel small and cute; however, this extra gangly tree is simply not my typical idea of beauty.  It’s not the magical home of fairy tea parties as one could easily picture happening under the graceful boughs of a Weeping Willow.  It’s not a majestic Sequoia known for being the Rocky Balboa of plants with its mighty strength and determination.  It’s not vibrant, and it doesn’t have thousands of tourists to come watch its yearly showcase like the talented Cherry Blossoms.

No, this particular tree is messy.  It is not one lively shade of green, and the irregular size of its limbs is not aesthetically pleasing to the eye.  Yet, today, I could not stop staring at this mysterious growing wonder in my front yard.

In fact, today I realized, I want to be exactly like this tree.

Now, at this point, you’re probably wondering why, of all the gorgeous creations God placed in this world, would I want to emulate this ugly tree that seems so lacking.  While at first, all I could see were its physical imperfections, I ended up noticing that this tree is sturdy.  It’s been there for as long as I can remember, and its great height can only be due to a solid foundation.  At the top, where often the leaves of a tree fan out in a beautiful display, this one has decided to point directly up towards the sky with no effort of disguising its intentions.  Its limbs, while of different sizes, are all pointing straight out to the left and right and slanting slightly upward.

Why does any of this matter?

Because, in a world of uncertain times, I want my hope and foundation to be planted deeply and firmly in the truth of Christ’s sacrifice and my eyes actively looking up to seek God’s direction.  And, in a world in which hatred has become such a common language, I want my arms to be constantly reaching out and pointing up, loving others because He first loved me (1 John 4:19).

Love isn’t always easy; it may not seem to be blooming like a Cherry Blossom or flowing like a Willow.  Sometimes, love is messy and unorganized like this tree in my front yard.  Sometimes, we have to reach out to people in their despair and plant ourselves firmly there as a beacon of light and hope regardless of our comfort zones or personal appearances.  Sometimes, we have to stop watching TV long enough to help an elderly neighbor find something she lost or lend a listening ear while sitting on the front porch with a friend (a special thanks to my grandparents and parents for showing me what this looks like).  Sometimes, we have to set aside differing opinions long enough to have a real conversation or help someone in need.  Let’s love each other today, people!

I was wrong… this tree is beautiful; I want that kind of beauty.

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