The bare, winter tree stands like a sentinel outside my window. I see it every morning as it glows in the beams of the rising sun. During the summer, it was covered with leaves, and I loved seeing it whenever I was in my room. However, fall came and it yielded its green covering to the wind and weather.
But I still love it! Yesterday, it a lone bird, I think a cardinal, perched in its top branch for a few minutes. Then he flew off and suddenly several other birds flew into the bare branches and sat for awhile. What a treat to watch them descend into its branches and perch there. in the summer, I can’t see them sitting there.
As I watch the sun turn the horizon and my tree into gold every morning, I think of how God often compares His people to trees. I am meant to bear fruit, but there are times I feel like that tree, barren of anything that looks worth anything. However, like that tree, golden red in the dawn, I may not feel beautiful, but when God’s light in Jesus shines on me, I reflect His beauty. And that is far superior to anything I may show forth.
Bare trees don’t usually make us think of beauty. I never thought of them in that way. I was used to years of evergreens in the Pacific Northwest; it was beautiful there because it was always green.
However, lately I have seen beauty in those leafless trees, as bare branches reach into a bright blue sky, turning gold in the sun’s rays. Even more recently, I was taken by them swaying in the wind. As each tree’s branches blew back and forth, I was fascinated to see that they formed many intricate patterns where each branch crossed.
This reminds me of people. We are created in the image of God, but at times we are more like leafless trees than ones fully dressed. But as the Spirit of God blows, He can make us glow in God’s sunshine like we are gold. And as we sway under His influence, others may be able to see gracious patterns we create as we interact with others.
I am also reminded that in my winter of life, I may not look beautiful to others, but because I am alive, there can still be beauty. I especially think of the 101-year-old lady in the assisted living complex. She is in a wheelchair and never says much, but her smile is radiant. She is beautiful.
I have grown to like seeing barren trees in my yard and along the road. I love their haunting beauty.
I looked out my window this morning to find a light dusting of snow on the deck, on the neighbors’ roofs, and on the ground. We had a lot of snow before Thanksgiving, but not much since, unlike cities in the Northeast!
My husband would have said I was silly, but I have been taken with the “folding” of melting snow. I saw it on my car years ago and not long ago, I saw it on the rock wall as it melted. I can’t do it with my hands; nature does it!
Scientists say that each snowflake is unique. I ask, how can that be when it takes so many to make the kind of scenery some places have been inundated with? Even more amazing, they say the same thing about people. We have unique fingerprints, “eye prints,” voices. Even identical twins still have small differences, hard to see even for their parents at times. How can that be when there are billions of people on the earth? And identical twins come from the same egg and sperm? And children, born to the same parents and live for years in the same house, vary immensely! My mother used to say about her four children, “How can four children from the same parents be so different?” Even adorable new-born animals may look exactly alike, but as you watch them, they display different temperaments.
The One who created all this must be more than amazing! How our Creator must love variety, for nature is full of it, down to the tiniest detail! Not just in form, but in colors. There are colors that the human eye cannot see. There are things so small scientists are just beginning to discover them. Overwhelming facts. And amazing to my finite human mind. I want to think I should understand all things, but who can understand this Creator that does such amazing things! As I read about Him in Scripture, I am overwhelmed not only by His power but by His love and justice.
In all this, I am brought to thanksgiving. This Creator has given us a wonderful, beautiful Creation, and despite our ingratitude has made it possible for me to fellowship with Him.