Religion

I don’t think I’ll ever see a sight as lovely as a tree

This time of year is filled with magical joy … Joy to the World. Time to get the tree up.

In fact, my crazy neighbors prior to Thanksgiving were guilting me into complying with their own made-up “homeowners association” policy of having the tree up and the house glittering with lights.

So, as family tradition would have it, the tree and boxes of decorations came down from the attic the day after Thanksgiving. The sparkle and whimsy of the season are out, but so are the reminders of the “Hope of Christmas.” As the well-worn saying telling it all, “Jesus is the Reason for the Season.” Joy to the World, the Lord has come.

This time of the year, children are sharing with us the story of that first Christmas. Just last year, our budding actress, Mamie, was the angel who sparkled and dazzled us all.

But another story played out that spoke volumes. So for a few minutes, let’s shine the light on an itsy-bitsy tree’s part in a school play. The teacher had called all the students who were in the play to come forward to listen to some last-minute instructions.

You can imagine the rush and the push of bodies trying to edge their way into the best positions. Elbows were flying and costumes came alive with activity, all except the tree. She remained firmly rooted to the stage.

The limbs were hanging limply at the side of the trunk when the teacher called for the tree to come forth. The tree simply bent its top branches and shook. The director wasn’t going to give up, “Honey, why don’t you come over with everyone else?”

Through the leaves, a sweet, tiny voice spoke, “They don’t need me. I’m just scenery.”

You could hear what was at the root of the small tree’s reluctance to move. It was this, “I’m just a tree. Nothing important here.”

There are a few wise people left in the world. A bunch of them are teachers. This tree’s teacher/director, on the night of the play, held up a lovely certificate recognizing an exceptionally wonderful tree that stood so proud, making the stage a much more beautiful place.

The precious young child/tree who still had a few leaves sticking to her walked to the front of the stage. She was acknowledged with a loud round of applause for giving her best. She graciously bent her limbs in a bow of thanks. That’ll preach, y’all.

Are you feeling like a stump, rooted in an unseen corner of the world? I Corinthians, Chapter 12, says it all. You are important. “Now the body is not made up of one part but of many … there are many parts, but one body…The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable…”

If you are feeling down and a bit like scenery, I pray that you may hear applause from heaven and the words, “I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything as lovely as a tree.” Thank you, Lord, that You made us all, great and small, on purpose for a purpose. Yours.” Now sparkle, y’all.

Kandi Farris, a freelance correspondent, also is a speaker on matters of faith and values.

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