The Blessing of the Fallen Tree
Posted in Disappointment
Scripture: “Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress…. The people walking in darkness have seen a great Light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a Light has dawned.” – Isaiah 9: 1-2
The tallest, most perfectly shaped Frazier Fir we had ever brought home was being hoisted upright in the corner of our living room. My two teenage sons shifted the trunk a centimeter to the left or right, while my husband tightened the screws of the tree stand until all seemed stable. Round and round, the white lights enwrapped the branches. Then one by one, each precious ornament was presented along with the short story that accompanied each one. The clear glass bells given to us as a wedding gift. Our first baby’s fingerprints painted on a large, fragile ball. Ornaments that once hung on my grandmother’s tree. Along with the tissue that held each bauble safe in storage between seasons, memories of hanging each one year after year filled our living room that evening last Christmas season. The final ornament was placed, then we all stood back and admired the sparkling centerpiece of our home.
All of a sudden — CRASH! The tree had become too top-heavy or off-center and smashed onto the hardwood floor. Broken treasures lay in every direction. One person yelled at another for maybe not securing the tree well enough. Another blamed whomever hung heavy ornaments on high branches, and I sat on the floor by the treetop and cried.
Brokenness. It was all around me. Broken tree branches, broken glass, broken traditions of hanging certain ornaments for future Christmases, broken silence and peace in our family, and my heart was broken too.
Then my sweet and strong daughter, Anna Young, lifted the top of the tree and searched underneath. She found one, unharmed ornament still perfectly intact, and said, “Look! This one’s not broken!” My heart leaped– not just for the spared ornament, but also for her ability to turn all of our focus from what was broken to what was whole. The boys and I joined he, searching for any other unharmed ornaments or chunks big enough to try gluing back together.
What a lesson I learned that Christmas evening. Yes, there is brokenness all around us in life: broken promises, broken dreams, broken relationships, broken bodies, and broken hearts. Yet, Jesus has come to make all things new. Anticipate the newness he will bring to you this day. He promises to be our Light in a dark world. Be determined to focus on the Light, and not the darkness. Focus on what’s whole and good, and not what’s broken, and willingly give what’s broken in you to the only one who can make you whole again.
Prayer: Wonderful Counselor, Prince of Peace– thank you for sending your Son Jesus to show us the way to live our lives abundantly. Give me a grateful heart to be drawn to the blessings, the Truth, the whole and pure. And help me remember that through you, all things can be made new. Amen.
Submitted by: Caroline Bennett