I was outside today and I found myself staring at a tree in my yard. Some thoughts about this tree occurred to me. Firstly though, I must apologize to my faithful 3.4 readers. Life has gotten in the way of the time and inspiration to write. Little more than a few sentences would have covered any inspiration as of late, and I found that hardly worthy of a full blog post. So here I am, after a month, filled anew with thoughts worth conveying.
In our front yard are three large trees. Oaks, I suppose. 50 feet tall or better, I would estimate. They stand in a line, almost evenly spaced. The one to the far left has been dying for a while. It stands barely 20 feet tall, as it has lost many limbs. Each time there was a storm or a strong wind, it seems like we’d lose a limb. So, it’s fairly barren, and shorter than it used to be. The main mast is reduced, and there are just a few raggedy jutting limbs at the top. I’ve never really given this tree a ton of thought, or much more than a glance. I happened to be outside today and found myself staring at this tree. It’s the most amazing thing– despite everything I just described to you, there is a frenzy of young shoots and green leaves in the middle of this tree. So much that they cover and wrap the middle of the tree like a groomsman’s cummerbund. I thought it was rather amazing how much life is springing forth from the center of this old dead tree.
I spent a good deal more time pondering the parallel this tree is to our lives. To my life especially. I was dead. Reduced in humility. Storms had torn apart my branches and my bark was old and dry. I was quietly dry-rotting in shame and doomed to a slow death. Then, when there seemed to be no hope, Christ came and planted life in me. He revitalized my bark and young, green life begin to spring forth from my heart. He wrapped my center in only the kind of beautiful growth He could foster. Though I was dead and doomed to continue dying slowly, he brought me back to life and it was glorious. I’ve decided that this tree I once ignored and wrote off as dead and dying is now my favorite tree.