The Tree

Fred has had a rough life. His childhood was filled with hurt, pain, disappointment, betrayal, and abuse. Mom and Dad didn’t know the Lord and made fun of those “high and mighty do-gooders.”

As the years came and gone he was bullied in school, made lower grades than the other kids, and wore out-of-style clothing. He hid his hurt and anger but never understood why life was just so hard. “Life’s not fair,” others would tell him but it didn’t ease his anger.

As an adult his anger has turned to bitterness. He growls at people in response to their attempts to show him kindness. He pushes others away in his self-imposed prison. The lesson of “trust no-one” runs hot through his veins.

Sitting on a bus bench, waiting for the bus to carry him to his menial job, the pain hits him like a train. He falls off the bench in a crumpled ball groaning and screaming.

In the ambulance he is in and out of consciousness and the scream of the siren sounds far away. He isn’t aware when the gurney speedily rolls him down the halls of the hospital into the operating room.

Slowly his eyes begin to flutter open and he see’s a Man with a white coat, a stethoscope around His neck standing next to his bed. With confusion, blurred vision, and a mouth feeling like cotton, he asks, “Who are you?”

The Man looks at him and replies, “I am the I Am. You’ve just had surgery.”

“Surgery!” He growls. “Surgery for what? What did you do to me?”

Lowering the surgical mask from His face, the Man replies seriously, “You had a huge tree inside you. The roots ran deep. I removed it.”

“What!? What do you mean a tree and roots!?” Fred demands. He tries to sit up in the bed but can’t.

“You have had much hurt and disappointment. You have let your past take control of your life and it became a giant tree of hatred and anger with very deep bitter roots. You forgave no one but now you are free to do so.”

The Man turns and leaves the room leaving Fred shedding tears of understanding and relief.

(Sue’s version) Hebrews 12:15

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“But Why ME!?!?” – A Testimony

Written by Nancy – Angels’s by Grace Pub. – April 1997

 

“What’s that gray thing on the wall, Mom?”

“It’s the shadow of the green chair, Son.”

“What’s that big blue thing in those people’s back yard, Mom?”

“Why those guys have a swimming pool, Son.”

“Don’t cut your hair, Mom. It’s how I tell you apart from the other Moms.”

“Never, Son. I promise. I’ll never cut it. You’ll always find me in the way you recognize best.”

 

My son is legally blind. He has Cerebral Palsy and, though he walks, runs, jumps, and talks, it’s not quite the same as other kids. He never acknowledged his differences, not really. Oh, I talked to him about it. His young, little boys eyes would stare owlishly through his thick glasses and he would nod with great wisdom, but it never dawned on him until he reached the fifth grade.

That year, he noticed that the other kids weren’t laughing with him; they were laughing at him. They had decided he wasn’t cool. Then, they made certain that he knew their decision.

He got off the bus one afternoon and came in all upset. He slammed his book bag down and angrily shouted, “They’re laughing! They call me names! They said I’m a geek! They called me a dweeb! Why, Mom! Why was I born this way? Why ME?”

I knew the answer. I had asked the same question back in my own childhood for much different reasons. Everyone asks this question from time to time, but some of us suspect we have more of a reason than a poor guy who got a speeding ticket, or the hasty woman who snagged her brand new panty hose.

When something bad happens to the innocent, it sends up a heart-rending wail of Why? We rail at God. We shake our fists. We feel that God must hate us more than anyone else. We get so mad at Him. We swear to never pay Him any attention, Ever! We abuse ourselves and our lives, all in the name of, “But Why Me!?”

So, the next time your inner child peers at you, with anger bravely hiding those tear-filled eyes, eyes that beg you to answer, tell her what was once told to me and what I passed on to my little boy.

“Did God make the world a perfect place? Is there such a thing as Heaven on earth? Is there a perfect human in your family? In your school? No,  little one. There’s nothing here to match heaven. But how does God decide to willfully hurt innocent people? Why did He single you out to pick on? He didn’t. God would never hurt anyone, especially the innocent. There’s an old saying that says, God will never give you anything that you can’t handle. Old sayings are usually very wise sayings. Do you think God would give a burden to one unworthy to carry it? The things we often think of as ‘evil being visited upon the innocent’ are really God’s Badge of Faith in us. Another person with the same burden to carry might crumble under its weight. But God knows you won’t.  God doesn’t single out people and place them in harm’s way out of hatred or, even amusement. Instead, knowing the harm will come the way of someone, He places in its path only the ones who can stand up to the evil…and survive with love still in their heart. It is an awesome task.

God is love. Those of us with deep scars in our soul or imperfect bodies are here to deliver God’s message of love. Look at the burden He gave His own Son. He must have loved Him very much to have trusted Him with such a big responsibility. How He must have wept for His Son’s pain. It was a tough job but someone had to do it. Someone had to be big enough and strong enough.

God knows you. He knows you can handle the burden better than anyone else or He wouldn’t have put you in harm’s way. You stand there and defy that harm with the light of battle in your young warrior’s heart, and the light of love shining in your eyes. Only you are big enough and strong enough for this terrible harm. (and if you’ll just add “ce”, it becomes Charm.) Harm will never win with you standing there. It’ll never crush you. You may have saved a life of someone who’s soul would have been blighted by shouldering this burden.You’re a hero who saved another child from a burning house only to be scarred for your efforts. Would you let her die if you knew you’d have scars? Would you be so mean? No, not you, Brave one, you’d face down a moving mountain to protect another child from this kind of hurt, and God knows it.

To whom would you give your burden? To what innocent child would you give this? Who would you pick to suffer and hurt? Which of your own children would you pick for such a rough job? What an awful thought! What agony to have to pick from those you love. But the world is not perfect, and who knows that better than God. God has much more wisdom than us. God knows on whose shoulders to rest the burdens that happen in this world. God has faith in you. God trusts you. God believes in you. You just carry that silly ol’ burden and look, you carry it so well! No one could do it better than you. So, next time you ask, “But Why ME!?” ask instead, “Why NOT me?”

We Bear The Badge of Faith.

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Blessings to you.