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The Tree – My Tree!

Posted by Cinda On October - 9 - 2007

stormy_weatherThe storm was severe. The force of the wind was wrenching the tall trees. I watched THE TREE- MY TREE from my easy chair at my window, just inside the Retirement Village entrance where I live. I asked God to keep it from blowing down. “Please Keep it, I asked.” Then I saw a huge branch from near the top fall to the ground. Soon after, the storm subsided. All seemed well.

Through the years that tree had brought an inner joy to me. I’d watched it as the leaves and little branches fluttered in an easy breeze, or on a windy day it would lean in one direction and then another. Sometimes it would bend under a heavy gale and my concern would rise. I loved that tree almost without realizing it … as much as one loves things.

Several days later, I glanced out my front window to take in the beauty of the early morning sunrise. In unbelief, I caught sight of huge tree trimming equipment near My Tree. My heart sank. “Oh no, please don’t let them take it down,” I prayed. Then my hopes were raised a little. “Maybe they are just going to thin it out for preservation during future storms”, I thought.

The ambitious workers began at the top, thinning and trimming. More and more large beautiful limbs were dropping to the ground. I couldn’t believe they knew what they were doing. That lovely tree began to resemble a skeleton. But the cutting and sawing continued. When they were finished, it looked like a grotesque cripple. No longer a stately semblance of the tree that had once graced our entrance. It had been stripped of its beauty and I was sad. The Kleenex box nearby had a few less tissues at the end of the morning.

Now, I still look out at it, crestfallen and grieved, but with hope that someday it will grow again into some semblance of its previous beauty – but not within my day!

In a similar mode, I thought of a friend I had known years before. Someone had told an untrue story about her. That was a stormy day in her life. The trimming equipment had been set in place. The story was repeated as truth and went like feathers in the wind. Her character was being maligned like my dismantled tree and the branches began to fall. This stalwart character lost the charm of her personality. Like the tree, her beauty had inched away. Would it grow back with God’s direction?

We probably are not tree trimmers, but sometimes we can be character trimmers without being very thoughtful about it. Dismantling a tree is temporal. Dismantling a character affects a life. Just as my tree looked grotesque and disfigured, so a life can be turned into disappointment and shame. Let’s never be responsible for such thoughtless acts.

Psalm 119:19 challenges us to “Let the words of our mouths and the meditation of our hearts be acceptable unto God.”

P.S. Two years later, My Tree has grown almost to its original stature. I’m not so sure about my friend.

Author: Elsie / CCF Contributor
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Note: Elsie wrote this in August 1998 and revised in May 2000

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