Bent, but beautiful

Rummaging for kindling wood while camping one summer, I encountered this tree.

Its trunk told a story.

Was it a story of surviving trauma? Of adaptability? Of new purpose? Of determination? Of thriving despite deformity or disability?

Sometimes we encounter things in nature that can help give us perspective—or, in this case, an image—that can add depth and clarity to our experience of life.

In my case, I saw in this tree an image of life before and after Christ, and I was greatly encouraged. The tree is not beautiful by conventional standards. But it lives. And though it might be healed and thriving, it will always carry the reminder of what perhaps nearly destroyed it.

Yet in that broken and nearly fallen state, something happened. Someone happened, and life was restored and a new path given, along with the invaluable reminder of frailty, to ensure that any future growth was stabilized by humility—a thorn in the flesh to guard against elation.

How marvelous are your works, O Lord. In wisdom have you made them all.