If this old tree could talk, I wonder what stories it might tell.
It stands in my front yard with a girth of about 12 feet round the base. Its branches reach a good 40 feet high and sprawls out and around probably 3o feet in diameter. It has weathered many storms in its life. It has shaded many a horse; a stone hitching post still stands sturdy in the earth underneath its branches.
This is the tree that has given shade to many of our family picnics. It has lent its limbs for climbing on and hanging swings. It has been the backdrop to portrait photos. And it is the tree my son paced under one sunny afternoon seeking a protective cover for the hard emotions he was suffering.
Have you ever tried to project your voice in the outdoors? A voice level that would be a definite loud yelling inside the house is somehow lost outside, a small cry in the open air under this old tree.
Have you ever stood next to a 40-foot tree? A person is so small in comparison; a man at a 6-foot height and nearly 180 lbs. may seem large standing man to man but stands small in the open space under this old tree.
Here is where my son let it all out. His weary heart desperately seeking answers. Standing small under the old tree. A small cry in the open air.
If this tree could talk, it would say it has heard these cries before, just as God has. These cries my son cried are universal to humankind.
If this old tree could talk, it’d likely say:
“Dear human, you are not alone, for many humans struggle with these same frustrations and want answers to questions that seem un-answerable.”
You cry, I just want to be normal!
“Dear human, there is no normal, it is a facade. Comparison is a lethal injection to a growing soul. Please don’t look at yourself as less than, against others. You are who you are; your normal is normal for you.”
You cry, Why did God make me this way?
“Dear human, God makes each human uniquely and for His purpose to do His work on this earth; whether you know Him or not, He has a purpose for your life. Your struggles are yours to battle yet most often has impact on growing others around you as well. I know it’s not easy, but you must stand tall in the storms just like me; Plant your feet like roots in the Truth. Humans rarely know why God creates them like they are, you don’t need to know why – you just need to trust in the One who made you and knows you better than you know yourself.“
You cry, I hate my life!
“Dear human, hate is such a strong emotion and it’s not helpful or productive. You must above all things resist the temptation to hate your life. Fight against this with all your might. Each human life, yours included, is precious. Hear this. Know this.”
Yes, my son said all these things underneath this old tree. For more on this story, consider ordering my book about my son’s journey with addiction and these hard emotions he suffered.