Parable of a Tree
One day, a tree decided that it wanted to help change the world. This wouldn’t be your average “tree mission” in any way. For this daring and motivated sapling wasn’t just green in nature, trying to save the trees. No, this one had bigger plans, greater ideas, and a zeal so strong it actually dreamt dreams of going overseas to change nations, even if that meant walking on water to get there.
However, there was a problem. This tree was planted. It was stationary, and its roots felt entrapped within the deep, dark confines of the dirty looking soil beneath it. The tree struggled with these thoughts. How could it reach the world, how could it fulfill its purpose in its current state?
This tree fought itself. How it wished it could be uprooted. How it yearned for the fruit of other trees to export across the world. “If only I went to the jungles of Africa, I could produce mangos or bananas and feed many people,” it dreamt. “Or, what if I produced big, red, luscious apples? There’s a reason they call them red delicious you know. How I’d love to be associated with a symbol such as that.” The tree was going through an identity crisis. It’s dreams and purpose seemed to be washing away. It was cutting itself off at the roots so much that it began to diminish in color.
What does a tree do to change the world? How does it go, when it is so deeply rooted? How does it reproduce, when it does not bear fruit like the others?
Just as the tree began to surrender hope, and let go of it’s dreams, someone familiar came by. It was a little child, a new member of the family coming to swing from yet another branch. See, this tree didn’t live in another nation, or as part of a vast field of harvest. It was the fixture of a family, planted from generations before, and sure to last for many more after. However, the tree was not in a backyard. In fact, this tree wasn’t outside at all. This was a family tree. It was planted within love. It couldn’t go, but it could grow. It couldn’t bear fruit, but it could multiply. It didn’t have physical stature, nor could it get its worth from what is seen. But this family tree could in fact reach, and maybe even change the world. The Father saves His best trees, His seeded descendants of the tree of life to be rooted in a family that is bigger than a house or home, and bigger than any mission, a family that is spread across the world and waiting to be grafted in by a Father who calls them family.
As we abide in the Vine Himself, we may not go on great missions, or bear the fruit that is easily seen. But, if we will take what we have in our hands to love the one in front of us as we love ourselves, He will make us unique branches in His family tree of life that grows in love and multiplies to the nations. What kind of tree are you? We believe God’s house has less walls, and more branches. We are called to love the world like family.