Veins in dark red branches show signs of life. Small buds forming, surrounded by the death of gray. There is life in this transplanted tree that we moved at the end of summer. The little tree struggled in the exhausting heat in the front-yard unprotected by shade from our house or our neighbor’s large tree. Day after day, week after week our tiny tree struggled to withstand the devastating heat.
The worst of the heat was over by late September and it was time to move our tree. Our gardener moved it from the front yard to the back where there was more shade and a chance for survival and growth. I’ve watched our tree in the recent winds and rain. Somehow, it seems taller—stronger maybe. Today I checked it closely. Bright red leaves clinging to life, old dead branches between the darker ones forming new buds.
I think of how often I believed when God transplanted me that I would surely die. How could I go on in the upheavals of life? Yet life is there. We may not see it at first, God’s life-blood coursing through our veins and the sap of the tree coursing through the branches with buds barely visible. Sometimes, it takes moving or being transplanted to find “the new.” It takes God moving us in a new direction or bringing new life before we realize just how many dead branches we may carry.
As I recover from a recent surgery, I sit in the quiet looking out of the window at this tree forming new life and I am hopeful. I reflect on the celebration of the birth of the Christ child and I am hopeful. Even in the midst of political strife and caustic division in our country, I am hopeful. God is doing a new thing. Do you not perceive it? He is making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland. (Isaiah 43:19)
What would happen in our world if each of us allowed God to prune away the dead and made way for the new? I see it! Do you? I see new life coursing and new buds forming and I am hopeful in this Christmas season.
Merry Christmas and many Blessings in the New Year
If you would like help with transitions in your life, you may want to meet with a spiritual director from Holy Listening. Click here for more information.