The Twisted Tree by the River of Life
Last week, Wayne and I went to Camp Barnabas, a camp for special needs kids and young adults. This was a mixed week, so there were kids with Down’s Syndrome, autism, muscular dystrophy, hearing problems, Angelman Syndrome, and other disorders. Various weeks focus on kids with missing limbs, cancer, terminal illness, blindness, cerebral palsy, etc. So this is a camp for people with broken bodies or minds.
As our cabin went down to the river to canoe, I went over to my favorite spot: a mossy, shady area where this twisted tree hangs over the water. This tree is fascinating because it really should not be alive. Its original roots got exposed, maybe by high water, and the main root is broken open and exposed above ground, wrapped over a rock, then rerooted and grows out at a horizontal angle over the river.
But the tree itself is thriving. Because it’s planted by the water, it gets continual nourishment. It’s leafy and green and provides a wonderful shady spot in the water for fish. And, besides flourishing, the tree is cool and interesting to look at.
Psalm 1 describes the person who does not participate in the ways of the wicked, but delights in the law of the Lord and meditates on it day and night. “S/He is like tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever s/he does prospers.” Psalm 1:1-3
Just like that tree lives fully despite its brokenness, so do all who stay close to God and drink deeply of His life-giving Word, despite their brokenness. I realized as I looked at that twisted, intriguing tree that it was so much more interesting than the normal, healthy trees around it. It’s attractive BECAUSE of its unusual shape and situation. People are drawn to it and want to sit on it and fish from it or climb on it.
We are all broken, aren’t we? Some people’s brokenness is more obvious and I think we are drawn to ones who are thriving in their brokenness because they are depending on God for life. Don’t be afraid to be broken. Just stay close to the Living Water and you will flourish.