About 16 years ago I wrote a story of sorts about a tree and a storm. I don't remember now what was going on in my life at the time, but I thought of it tonight as I was playing around with Blogger's new template design tool, and changing my background. Like it? I couldn't find a picture of chocolate, but I found this tree and it struck a chord in my heart. I love trees. They give me a feeling of safety, peace, history and future all at the same time.
I hadn't thought of that story in ages, and I didn't even know if I still had a copy of it. As I thought, the Lord told me exactly where it was, and sure enough, I found it. The only copy I have. It's always a bit strange to read something very personal that you wrote so long ago, and this was definitely like peering into the privacy of a former self. Who was that girl? What made her put these words on paper? I don't really know anymore, but the theme is nothing original. I bet other people could read this and substitute their own beloved thing or person for my tree and it wouldn't change a thing.
I make no claims about the quality of the writing, but if you promise not to laugh too hard, here it is:
~~~ ~~~ ~~~
I climbed higher and higher until I reached my familiar resting place in my favorite tree
I closed my eyes and let my thoughts fade quietly in rhythm with the sunset
The trials and strain of the day drifted sweetly away on the wind
My hiding place soothed me once again
It crept up on me in my peaceful oblivion
The wind was much colder
A storm was moving quickly across the blackened sky
Burnt clouds of fierce rain announced by bellowing thunder
Reluctantly I left my haven and made my way to the ground
The angry wind pushed the storm toward me, closer and closer
My heart pounded with fright as I rushed inside and bolted the door
In an instant the storm descended
Predator attacking prey, all rage and hate
The wind and rain whirled around the tree
Whipping through the limbs, ripping the leaves
Screaming its threat to destroy
I stared helplessly through the glass and wept for my tree
Surely it would never survive this wicked storm, this brutal wind and pounding rain
The thunder roared and shook the ground, arrogantly proclaiming the doom of my beloved tree
It went on and on until I could no longer bear to watch
Where did this evil storm come from and why was it so viciously attacking what I cherished most?
My precious tree had brought me so much comfort and joy, and now I grieved the loss
Time seemed to stop... my tears covered me like black mourning cloth
Then came stillness... deafening silence
The wind and rain were calm, the thunder quiet
As quickly as it had come the storm disappeared
Hesitantly I moved toward the window, dreading what I would find
I wished silently for at least a small fragment of wood or one torn leaf
My sadness became utter amazement
For there stood my beautiful tree, as strong and proud as ever
The morning sun radiantly spilling through its branches
I ran outside and wrapped my arms around its sturdy wood, half afraid it wasn't real
How sweet it felt in my hands!
My heart rejoiced at the miraculous victory over the storm!
But I could not understand how my tree had survived the violent wind and rain
Then I heard a quiet voice say to me,
"The storm was powerful, but your tree withstood its fury. The wind tore at its branches and the rain pounded, but the tree did not die, because the roots grow deep and reach far. Your beloved tree survived because it finds its strength deep within the steady ground. It does not depend on the uncertain world outside, but draws life from within, from where you cannot see with your eyes. You can be sure the storm will come again someday, but do not fear. I promise you, if the roots grow deep, the wind may blow and the rain may fall, but the tree will stand strong. As long as its life comes from within, your tree will live."
I climbed higher and higher 'til I reached my familiar resting place in my beloved tree
I closed my eyes and let peace wash over me
Peace in spite of a storm... for the roots grow deep
~~~ ~~~ ~~~
Trees, faith, strength, trust, Almighty God and Father, life through the Son, peace in the storms... I still pray and long for roots that grow deep and reach far and faith that will hold me steady. I guess I haven't changed all that much in 16 years. But hopefully I have grown... hopefully my roots have gone deeper. Only the storm can tell.