Sipping my coffee early this morning sitting under the shadow of the portico of our building, I noticed this crooked tree. Shaded by the roof and surrounded by walls, the sunlight washed over half of the foliage leaving the other half still in shadow.
I remembered learning in grade school the basic need of all plants for sunshine and the natural inclination to turn their leaves toward it. It seems likely that this tree grew steadily slanting toward the sunlight that could never fully bathe it being obstructed by the portico roof and walls on three sides.
Sunlight covers all the earth, like the love of God, constant and strong for all of us, not a select few. His love is unconditional. His redemption is available for all. Yet, like this tree reaching for light, obstruction may thwart our reception of God’s love. An experience that deeply wounds us may manifest subconsciously as reason for retreating from others, a natural strategy meant to protect us from further danger. Isolation becomes the obstacle that shuts out love. Avoiding vulnerability effectively becomes entrapment.
I believe an act of God is required to penetrate such interior walls that fortify us and rob us at the same time. Faith is trust and trust is difficult for the wounded among us. By faith we must meet our God in this life. Faith is not blind; it is learned; it is also a gift, lest any of us should boast.