Monday, April 26, 2010

trees and anonymity

there is so much going on in my heart and mind that were i to start typing, i fear you would be sucked into "TMI" oblivion and never return. so i'll refrain, and just talk about trees.

[A century ago, a few fragile seeds fell upon rocky soil. Through drought and flood, they clung tightly to earth, stubbornly stretching toward the heavens. Today, silver maple, post oak, and black walnut trees surround our home like tall, loyal sentinels. Their intricate, mingled root systems support the round below...

...Bursting with shades of green, the leaves dance in the breeze. Winter's reduction is coming, but that does not halt the dance. Trees celebrate the moment, temporary though it is. In the spring, their new growth sings of hope. Their lush green offers peace in the summer. In the fall, their colorful collages inspire creativity. And in their emptiness, trees grace the winter with silent elegance...

...What the plenty of summer hides, the nakedness of winter reveals: infrastructure. Fullness often distracts from foundations. But in the stillness of winter, the trees' true strength is unveiled...A tree's posture is all-open, like arms ready for an embrace. So very vulnerable, yet so very strong. I find the display quieting and full of grace.

In winter, are the trees bare? yes.
In winter, are the trees barren? no.
Life still is.

...In spiritual winters, our fullness is thinned so that, undistracted by our giftings, we can focus upon our character. In the absence of anything to measure, we are left with nothing to stare at except for our foundation. Risking inspection, we begin to examine the motivations that support our deeds, the attitudes that influence our words, the ded wood otherwise hidden beneath our busyness. Then a life-changing transition occurs as we move from resistance through repentance to the place of rest. With gratitude, we simply abide...

In winter are we bare? yes.
In winter are we barren? no.
True life still is.

The Father's work in us does not sleep--though in spiritual winters he retracts all advertisement. And when he does so, he is purifying our faith, strengthening our character, conserving our energy, and preparing us for the future.
The sleep days of winter hide us so that the seductive days of summer will not ruin us.

...Hidden hopes. Hidden dreams. Hidden gifts. All of us are acquainted with chapters in life when our visible fruitfulness is pruned back, our previously praiseworthy strengths become dormant, and our abilities are unnoticed by the watching world. Like a flower whose budding glory is covered up by we leaves, we sense the weight of hiddenness in our hearts and whisper, "I have so much more to give and be."

But there is One who can see the beauty of that covered, smothered flower. And, mysteriously, His delight in that beauty is not diminished by its leafy camouflage. Neither would his pleasure be amplified by the flower's visibility...Obedience to this God who appreciates the visible and invisible equally has led many truly great souls into long seasons of anonymity. Some emerged from obscurity into eminence. Others remained relatively unknown. All agreed that God never wastes anyone's time.

Whether we enter hiddenness deliberately (as in pursuing as education or relocating with a new job) or unwillingly (as in an extended illness or in grief following the loss of a loved one), we can spend years feeling that the greatest part of us is submerged in the unseen, as though others can only see the tip of the ice-berg of who we really are.

Through chattering teeth, arctic scientists inform us that only one-eighth to one-tenth of an iceberg is visible. As much as 90% is submerged in the unseen. Because of their enormous mass, with that proportion, icebergs are virtually indestructible.

The most influential life in all of history reflected the iceberg equation. Ninety percent of his life on earth was spent in obscurity. Ten percent of his earthly life was spent in the public eye. And all of his life was, and still is. absolutely indestructible.]

taken from "Anonymous" by Alicia Britt Chole

2 comments:

Leah @ Point Ministries said...

Oh. my. goodness. Profound! I have that book on my nightstand to read and it is next in line after I finish 'UnChristian'. Whew! Can't wait to start. That is deep---soul deep.

Love you,

Leah

Taylor said...

Good. Stuff.

Enough. Said.

Thank you for posting.

::Taylor