Sunday, April 17, 2011

Unforgiving Trees

So Today I had to work out in the yard pulling weeds from our ugly rock garden in the back. The rock garden is an evil abyss of unforgiving pain. I was stabbed by the thorn in the picture (yes that is my hand in a glove and the evil thing which has caused me to lose feeling in my palm). I should've wore my suit of armor whenever I was asked to trudge through the forbidden forest. But I underestimated the power of the dark side.

Let me tell you a story about how my trees in my yard turned into unforgiving forces of evil. In the year 2002, Kansas City was struck by an ice storm of epic proportions. Half of the city was covered in darkness and people were struggling to survive off of canned meats. My backyard could've been likened to Narnia in the times of the White Witch. I could almost see animal slaves running about the streets preparing the way for her highness. The Trees of the rock garden before the ice storm were gorgeous. They sprouted beautiful purple flowers making onlookers feel like they were getting a glimpse into the gardens of Naboo. But once the ice storm struck, my trees were never the same.

My trees used their branches to form and ice canopy much like a tent, shielding the rocky bottom and helpless animals seeking refugee from the elements. I broke a hole into the side of the icy fortress of branches and stood in the middle of the garden. All 5 trees combined created a world of their own. It was the most beautiful sight I can honestly say I have ever seen. Standing in the midst of their haunting elegance, surrounded by an icy cave, I understood how an eskimo can make a home in an igloo. Glossy, clear and brilliant.
After the ice had melted and spring began it's ever anticipated return, the trees that once bloomed purple buds now sprouted a new type of leaf and eventually formed thorns. The thorns developed a type of poison that makes the skin burn and swell keeping my family as far away as possible. Every year, one of us braves the rock garden to pull weeds and make it look presentable. But anyone looking inward can see that these trees are threatening and could start thrashing their branches at any second like a whomping willow.

Today at church Pastor Shawn talked about forgiveness and just how serious it is. Sometimes in life we get hurt so badly that as we start to heal we develop thorns. It's a sort of defense mechanism that shields our body, heart, and mind from further attack. But the downside is, our new defenses make it hard to let anyone in and even harder to forgive. Sometimes we are hurt so badly we can't help but develop a few thorns or even at times become an entirely different tree.

The Best thing about God is that He forgives us no matter what. All we have to do is ask. He doesn't develop thorns whenever we hurt Him and He is the same yesterday, today and forever. So if we need help forgiving, we should ask God to help us get rid of our thorns. God is more powerful then we give Him credit for. I think we forget that we have the best defense in the universe which is why we tend to make our own defenses. Forgive with a heart like Gods. Shed your thorns. God wants to give you a heart of forgiveness and only you can let him.

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