Monday, June 16, 2008

A Tale of Two Trees

I have found through my life that God speaks to me through images. Sometimes they are profound, other times simple. And sometimes they just help me clarify the way that I am feeling at a given moment. This morning was one of those.

I was driving from the farm (where my kids are while I'm working - that's a story for another time) to my office this morning, and I saw the strangest and most beautiful tree. It was fascinating! It had two different types of leaves, two different textures of branches! I was so amazed that I slowed down to take a better look.

And that's when I realized that I was actually looking at two trees, grown so closely together that they had intertwined to form a single 'tree'. From a distance, you saw a beautiful, fascinating sculpture. Up close, you saw the intricacy of nature at work. Two separate trunks, about 3 feet apart, that had grown into a massive and beautifully combined structure. An evergreen and a deciduous tree, in perfect harmony. And as I looked at it, I marvelled at God's creation once again, and I realized something very important about myself.

I married very young, and in the haste of what was once called puppy love. By the one-week anniversary of the union, I regretted the choice. But I viewed (and still view) the vow as sacred, and I did my best to make the marriage work. It was never happy, and I never found the comfort in the relationship that I heard other people describe; but, there was contentment in obedience to God's word. I would never have ended the marriage of my own accord - simply because it went against my principles - but when the dust settled from my rather humiliating abandonment, I found myself keeping company with an emotion that would be considered odd for an abandoned woman: relief. Home became a refuge - a place of peace, rather than strife. Yes, I was relieved and thankful. Growing alone - an independent tree - was much better than being joined to a kudzu vine, so determined to dominate that it would choke the life out of its host without thought or compunction.

But back to the trees . . .

What I realized in that moment was that - should God ever will that singleness is not the state He wishes me to occupy - I want to be like those trees. An independent soul, with my own identity, who finds a way to perfectly meld, mesh and intertwine the aspects of my life with that of another. Not to lose who I am - but to fully and completely complement someone else in such a way that we together are more than we were apart. From a distance, a wondrous and lovely entity. Up close, two distinct identities formed together by the hands of a Creator who is never far away. Cooperative. Cohesive. Beautiful. Whole.

Sound like a fairy tale? Maybe. But wasn't it God who formed man from dust and woman from a rib? Seems like He specializes in fairy tales. And until then? I stand thankful that He takes care of His own.