This is a journey into Restoration. Of me, and of you, if you’ll join me.
As I walked recently, the realization hit me that people are a lot like trees. Now before you start hollering ‘TREE HUGGER!”, let me explain. I do love trees. And the seemingly limitless, beautiful array of glory God has given us to enjoy in this life of ours. Even lichen. I love lichen. No, not “lick en,” “LIKE IN.” The tough yet fragile organism that makes it life on decaying trees. Life where we think none is left.
So getting back to trees, and how we are like them. Trees of the same species look similar at first glance; aspen trees all tend to look pretty much the same. Same for ponderosa pines, oaks, maple, redwood……. But look closely- in reality, each one is completely unique. Not another like it. Each has it’s own flaws, shape, growth pattern, and beauty. Each reaches for the sun, twists and presses upward, (and downward) for warmth, sustinance– survival.
Trees grow at times, where nothing realistically should grow. Worthless soil, little moisture, brutal winds, relentless sun. Somehow they survive.
So, as humans, like trees, we each carry our own uniqueness. Beauty. Faults. Challenges. Tough living conditions. Good years, bad storms. We all grow differently. Each of us has developed our own coping mechanisms that shape who we are. Genetics and life’s circumstances are thrown into the mix, and thusly we find some thriving in rich soil, some tenaciously clinging to life on the side of a mountain, and most just living their days taking what comes their way.
Our souls yearn for sunlight, strong, well-fed roots, and to flourish. That is at the core of each human being. It is built-in; God-given. It’s how he wired us. Trees are hard-wired for survival, and do whatever they can to press on towards that goal.
Ok- so trees don’t realize these things. Most people don’t either. They have no idea what their beauty is, what they were designed for, or how to thrive in a seemingly barren wasteland. Yet somewhere so deep within us, we hope there is more. Lichen live in an environment we perceive to have no value left. There is restoration to be had for each of us- drawing us up from barren, rocky soil, and giving us the ability to be a flourishing beauty. Even in that same rocky land.
I am so thankful for my uniqueness, my purpose, and my God that is showing me how much he loves me- with my gnarls, snarls. I’m thankful He still sees only my beauty. And for trees to help me see. And for lichen. Just cause I love it.