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It's Not Whole, But It's Full

Those were God's words to me. Words of comfort and hope. Allow me to explain. They may very well give you comfort and hope as well.

On Memorial Day 2021 I was sad. Though losing a loved one who was killed in the call of duty has not been a loss I have suffered, I was mourning the loss of my family through the process of divorce, as well as having to move away from a beautiful, scenic area. I ended up watching several sappy Hallmark movies; the action being something to help uplift my spirits a little.

However, when the movies were over and I walked away from the tv, the loss of love and missing romance in my life hit me strongly. I started to cry but at the same time did not want to fall apart. In the midst of this, God's spirit nudged my spirit to go out the front door. I didn't understand it, but I went out. As I stood on the front porch looking out, I asked God what I was doing out there. He drew my attention to the tree in front of me and said, "It's not whole, but it's full."

Those words made me cry again, but with a different connotation. See, I know something about this tree that is not immediately obvious if you don't know its history.

All of the rain and sunshine at this time of year, and you can see how this mature tree is full of life. Here is another photo taken from the street, so you can see more of the tree's glory.

The tree is obviously strong and healthy and full of life.


It is not obvious it has also lost half of itself.

We locals call it "The October Snowstorm." It happened late October in 1997, more than two decades ago. This particular tree was already a mature tree then. I was in high school. I love the smell of air when it is snowing, so I had my window cracked open that night. The sound was a cracking, a breaking, a creaking, a groaning combination followed by a loud crash - and then silence.

Rushing to the window, I could see part of the tree had fallen down. (Though it was night, the snow reflected the street lights, so it was actually quite "light" outside.) My sister and I ran downstairs and looked out the bay window. The tree had literally split in half. Half of it was still standing, the other half lay on the ground.

On the opposite side of the tree from the side shown in the above photo, you find the evidence of the event.

It may look like the tree is rotting inside. And, in a sense, yes, it is. The back of that hole, though, is where the break occurred. What's rotting is the scar from the event. What was on the inside of the tree and then suddenly became on the outside, is now, because of the tree's growth after the damage, back on the inside. Over twenty years later and evidence of the loss is still clearly visible, but it has not overtaken the tree.

Rather, the stronger part of the tree - the part that stood through the storm - has grown. The break in half happened within the span of a few moments; the tree has continued to grow for over two decades, but it has not fully replaced what it lost. And it never will. But the tree did regrow where it needed to so it could reach out and have branches all around itself again, which is the way it is designed to live, and the way it needs to be in order to live.

The tree has faced additional hardships since October 1997. In this photo you can see where it has suddenly lost branches - the ones too close to the house for our comfort, so they were removed:

But it keeps growing where it is thriving. The tree comes across as full of life. It shows its life to the world, not its losses.

What a picturesque analogy. Losing a significant portion of yourself does not mean you cannot grow and be full of life. Losing my other half does not mean I have lost my potential to be full of life and continue to thrive.

The tree is not whole, and it never will be. But it is FULL Of LIFE.

I am not whole, and I never will be. But I can still be FULL Of LIFE.

Happy Memorial Day, whichever day of the year that may be for you.

1 ความคิดเห็น

31 พ.ค. 2566


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