Hey FINE Sisters!
You guys…this blog cut me to the core! So hang on and stay with me!
I moved here from Indiana almost 6 years ago. We found a cute little house. My neighbor said she used to call it “little house in the big woods”. I loved that so much, now I call it that too. Right in front of the house was a red maple tree. It was a beautiful tree but it literally was right outside the front window blocking everything. Mark and I decided to have the tree transplanted to our side yard. The landscaper said this was a great idea. The new area was more spacious for the roots to spread out and it would get more sun.
The transplant was expensive and so was the tree. I was biting my nails to see whether or not the tree would make it. It did! This little tree has taken off. I could tell it was loving the sunlight and spreading its roots. She was certainly happy. Every spring she would radiate with the fullness of red and every fall drop her leaves as if she was laying down her crown. THEN………………
One summer night during a violent thunderstorm and mighty winds my tree was in for the fight of her life. While trying to hold it together and bracing herself during this unexpected turbulence, my neighbor’s tree snapped and fell on her. We heard it. SNAP! I could imagine my little tree screaming out in the night.
The next day we took a survey of the incident. Sure enough she was injured. As the old, dead tree was removed so was my little trees left limb. It was kinda odd because the tree that fell on her attacked her from the right side. I don’t know what happened but the damage was done. We cleaned her up as best we could.
I waited for months to see her slowly die. But she made it! She’s a survivor! The only setback….her left side is completely bare, chopped off. Her limb didn’t grow back. I can’t tell you how sad that makes me. Every day I would drive passed her in total disgust. I would nod my head and say under my breath, “whatever”. When I would come home and pulled in the driveway, from that right side she was in full bloom. But the left side always reminded me of her brokenness. I’m even embarrassed by her.
A week or so ago, I pulled out of my garage in the same routine. I drove passed her, nodded my head and whispered “whatever” and I felt God say, “Hold on a second”. Here it is, my life lesson of my little tree.
That little tree didn’t do anything wrong. Who am I to judge her? She started off on a beautiful journey in front of my house. She was minding her own business but I transplanted her, for her own good too. Her roots spread out and she was basking in the sun. One night as she was braving a storm, by herself, she got injured. She bares the scars of that storm. Every day as I drive by, all I see is the ugliness of her scars, her brokenness. Yet, she still sways in the breeze, birds still find pleasure in her branches, she does what she is supposed to do every spring and fall.
How many times have we done that with each other? How many times have we looked at another woman and nodded with our head and thought “whatever”? Her life is upside down because of the storms she is braving. Or she is rude and snotty or overbearing? Or she dresses differently than we do?
How often do you judge a book by its cover? We have no idea what others are going through. They may be fighting for their marriage, wrestling with a wayward child, or trying to scramble to pay the bills. Maybe they have been transplanted to a place they didn’t want to go. They are doing everything they can to deepen their roots while basking in the “Sonshine” but still can’t seem to move forward.
How often do we judge a book by its review? Last blog Leslie gave us a Summer Book Review. It was excellent. Leslie read all those books and gave us her thoughts and opinions on them. It is up to us to read the book and judge for ourselves. Often someone has told me something about someone or something and I have judged without review for myself. That’s wrong too.
You guys, I learned my lesson that morning as I pulled away. I have to confess, I have judged a book by its cover. I have to confess also, I judged a book not by my review but by someone else’s review. I bet if you were honest with yourself, you have too.
I see that tree TOTALLY different now. I love that little tree and the reminder of the warrior she is. She braved a storm, was injured and yet survived. Let’s be kind to one another. Let’s love each other through the storms. Let’s teach each other how to deepen our roots and bask in the “Sonshine”. Let’s spur each other on! Instead of nodding our head and whispering, “whatever”, be brave and courageous and go ask that woman, how can I help you? Can I pray with you? Will you join me in this adventure?
Go hug a tree!