My Bothersome Trees
Our neighbor is a lovely man, and he hates my trees. My first introduction to him eleven years ago wasn’t “Hi,” or “Nice to meet you.” He said, “You are going to hate those trees!” Jesus plants a seed. Even the seeds that produce bothersome trees.
We have two very old, very large, gorgeous trees in our backyard. Our neighbor’s yard butts up against our chain-link fence, and he has one small tree that covers his air conditioner. That’s it.
The trees in my yard tower high in the air and are visible from far away. They are healthy, fruitful, and their branches stretch within their DNA. I love these trees. I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
He explained our sweet gum tree showers tons of gum balls and leaves. I understand the issue after raking gum balls for eleven years! It’s terrible!
Our Maple tree tosses down loads of helicopters that sprinkle the entire yard. I bought a lot of mulch that first year for our flower beds only to see them completely covered after a windy day blew them all down.
Let a Tree be a Tree
Despite their seasonal annoyances, these are beautiful trees. If I could build a tree house, my sweet gum tree would be the perfect foundation. The two trees together offer a canopy when their branches touch and shake hands. They cool the backyard even in the toughest of Midwest summers.
But, if you don’t have trees, I can see why he would hate mine.
Unfortunately, I can’t wag my fingers at my trees and tell them to shed only in our yard. If I could, I would. I don’t want him to not like me or my trees!
They just can’t help being trees. They are massive, stoic, and live by the nature God intended them to live. Even though my trees and branches are kept within my yard, my trees won’t stop adorning his yard with their gifts.
Let You be You
As I look at these trees shedding their wares for the winter, I can’t help but think about our spiritual gifts. When we use these gifts until they grow for everyone to see and reach farther than where we are planted, our gifts will naturally fall on those who do not want them.
They will hate our gifts.
We can’t prune what God doesn’t want pruned. Jesus plants a seed within us. We need to let Him do the pruning, so we can stretch within the DNA He gifted within us. We need His protection to do this.
I wasn’t here when these trees were first planted. It is my hope that my neighbor reaps some of the benefits of their shade, enjoys looking out his back window at the view of their grandeur when crowned to their fullest, and see that a tree can only be a tree.
When we spread the love of Christ through our gifts, it may fall upon those who are not ready or willing to accept it. Just keep doing what God has cultivated and pruned you to do.
Let your gifts fall where they may as Jesus plants a seed within the hearts of those who don’t know the love of Christ. They might not like it at first, but give the seed a chance to grow in God’s time.
You can only be you after all.
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