The other day, I was running errands. Painfully, slowly, with irritation at all the small things, because grief is like that. On my path of frustration, I happened to drive past this tree that completely stole my breath away. The imagery was so powerful, I made a u-turn to see it up close and try to capture it with my wannabe phone camera.
(Can all the photographers relate to the feeling of seeing something beautiful and not having your SLR?!)
This tree had been torn half away at the trunk, near the ground. Draping over the berm and onto the unforgiving asphalt, this glorious tree was nevertheless, IN FULL BLOOM. I stood there marveling at the meticulous pink blossoms, releasing a fragrance that would make a perfumery jealous.
The sweet, fruity fragrance flowed all around me as I stood among the branches bowed low. I was literally able to step inside of the tree, between its fallen limbs, laden with hundreds of thousands of tiny, perfect flowers.
While my kids shouted questions at me from my idling van, I heard Holy Spirit whispering to my heart in this poignant picture. This tree, is brought low. Laying on its’ side in a car parts parking lot. It would be easy to be too busy to notice. To most simply call the arborist for an appointment to clean it up, to cut it down and drag it away. A nuisance.
Torn but not crushed, broken but not shattered, trunk clinging to the roots, roots tapped in deep to a well of life sustaining water. Not only does this tree live, but it has not held back a single bloom, a drop of sweetness. Even though it has been utterly humbled, it does not withhold it’s glory. The glory it has braved all the bitter winds of winter to bring forth, it does not give up, it does not recall its buds.
Though its future is uncertain, its core exposed, it does not hide its rare and captivating beauty. Instead, humbled and vulnerable, it bursts fully into bloom, withholding nothing. And different from the trees beside, holding their blooms high and out of reach, this tree offers an embrace. A nearness to its glorious beauty that cannot be touched in its upright neighbours.
Surely many of us have the ability to relate to this tree. Torn from our core. Laying low in humble places. Easily overlooked. Perhaps our pain and discomfort is a nuisance to the passerby? But we have a choice, do we not? Will we lie down and give up? Or will we rally?! Tap into trusting the Vine, and BEAR FRUIT. Giving our best, even in our darkest hour, believing that He who has called is faithful! And he will do it. Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him…