This is one of my favorite songs by Mark Schultz. I really love all of his songs and feel so blessed to have met and talked with him in person when he did a concert last year in Iowa during his "Mark Across America" tour for the James Fund. He is so genuine, so real, and just an awesome person. Not too shabby at song writing and singing, either! Don't ever miss a chance to see one of his performances. I'd give anything to go see him in Iowa City next week :(
As I was trimming the hedges this week, that song just wouldn't leave my head. You can hack away at shrubs and get rid of all of the gangly, useless branches that detract from that neatly manicured look, and no matter how deep the cut, no matter how big the "oops," they will bounce back. Re-bloom. Re-leaf. Re-branch. Sort of like us - we get hurt and broken and violated but through God's grace we come back. Most of the time, more beautiful, but always, with His help, stronger. We know we can depend on the strong roots and nourishment He has provided for us.
Though people are really the true testimony to Broken and Beautiful, one that reminds me every day of this is my flowering crab, or "Aunt Crabby." Most of my plants have names. Harold reminds me of this song a bit as well. But this tree we planted was so beautiful, so perfect, until the ice storm of 2007 that made it so heavy that it split smack down the middle. A huge part of the tree was gone. Broken. Lopsided. Unable to bear the cruel icy burden cast upon it and the winds that finally brought it to submission. In the spring, we took the chain saw and finished off what was hanging there, leaving a huge scar, a wispier tree, and lots of hope that it would somehow bud and blossom again. It did. The leaves are actually a deeper green now, with a crimson gloss on the undersides. The crab apples are more bountiful, and the view from inside the house allows me to see my pond a lot better. It was supposed to happen. And it happens to all of us. Whether someone has intentionally taken a "Hedge Hog" to you, or whether it's God's will, it happens. I don't remember praying for that tree, but I have certainly prayed for the brokenness in our lives and the healing that follows. The scar on that tree is tough and healed, but always a reminder that "He is the vine, we are the branches." And as I write this in the cool Saturday breeze while sitting near that tree, my puppy, who is walking on all fours with only a barely discernible limp, is also reveling in the healing of the broken. A few days ago I imagined us burying him under that tree by now. How foolish I was to think that His plans were not mine.
Where do you see God's healing? How has He spoken to you lately?
Tea today: Tazo Green Ginger