These two trees :: one bleak & stripped bare, the other juxtaposed against it, full & green. If these trees represented lives, my life, with which one would I identify right now?
At times my circumstances leave me bare and exposed, cringing at my appearance. Do others see this weather-beaten season of my life, my austere existence? Do they judge and whisper about my lack? In this period of life, when the glory of externals have fallen and have left me seeing only the ‘raw-ness’, can I accept my position, my season :: or do I feel the need to hide and be ashamed?
Oh, but other junctures of life bring fullness, joy, exuberance! How I celebrate and await these opportunities! My voice wants to rise up from deep within me and shout :: do you see how well I am!? How green & lush my leaves!? This season brings no shame, no, but perhaps a smidgen of grandiose boasting without refrain.
The moral of these two trees, from my humble standpoint is this:
We will all experience these contrasting seasons in the course of life. As the Creator has taught us through nature, the leaves do eventually fall, and they will come again.
And we will all share an acquaintance with another whose circumstance places him or her on the opposite end the spectrum from our own.
How we respond makes all of the difference.
In my state of joy, do I still see and approach my sister in pain and share comfort from my bounty? Do I care about the welfare of the others close by, or do I rebuff without thinking their bleak and bare selves :: hoping & not wanting it to withdraw from the fullness I’m experiencing.
In my pain, do I allow for such sharing :: those who reach out to demonstrate care, are they received? Or have I convinced myself of the ridiculous notion of acting stronger than I really am, of not allowing anyone to see the raw, real me?
It’s time out for all of that nonsense. As part of this big family, we were created for interdependence. Not co-dependent, but allowing for the weak to stand upright next to the strong :: together. And while our hands reach outward in relationship to one another, our hearts stretch upward in response to Him.
The one who understands both the joy and the pain :: because he experienced them both and knows. To God be the glory….