As I was driving this morning, the roads were iced over, so I drove more slowly than usual. Because I was driving slower, I noticed a tree in the misty darkness on the side of the road. The weather was snowy and foggy…but the tree was so radiant. Amazing, really. It was so special, it stood out from all the rest.
The tree was lit brilliantly for Christmas, still glowing in the foggy, January dawn. Someone had made a great effort to really bestow that small tree with lights of all sizes and colors. The colors radiated through the frigid darkness, reflected off the dazzling snow in a spectrum of beauty, shining like a beacon of hope and joy in the shadowy world.
I pulled my truck over to the side of the road, and rummaged about for my camera. This was a glorious sight, and I wanted to share it.
But in the hustle and bustle of my busy morning, I had forgotten my camera at home. I couldn’t capture the moment… Without a photo, I knew I would probably just forget about the tree, like I forget about all the other little details in my busy life.
I missed it.
I drove off and went on with my day and my work. But I continued to think about the small tree, laden with lights. I couldn’t stop mulling it over, and how special and perfect it was.
Later, when I had a chance, I grabbed my camera and returned to the remarkable tree that had made such an impression on me. I drove to the same spot, but couldn’t see it.
I parked, got out and tromped up and down the country road in my boots, scanning the scene for my special tree. But all I saw were many trees, all heavily burdened with new snow, boughs dragging under the weight of it all. Large trees, small trees, maple trees, birch trees, pine trees and spruce trees… they all looked the same in the brightness of day. Just a bunch of normal trees. Nothing special. When I did locate the “special” tree, it stood like all the others. Just an offshoot of nature, carrying a lot of snow. Burdened.
Then it clicked. I began to understand why this tree was important, after all.
We are just like the trees. We stand around, minding our own business, carrying our burdens and problems like anyone else. We are all the same.
When the troubles of night fall, and fog of worry rolls in, we are lost. We are just a forest in the dark. We don’t know where to turn or what is ahead. We live in fear. But sometimes, a rare person comes into our lives of darkness, and dispels all the gloom. A person of joy, a person of peace. Someone special. A person that somehow holds the light of Love within themselves, and lights our world with brilliance and hope.
God is that light. He shines within us who are ordinary. He makes all things bright and holy, a living flame of Love in our souls. We are the forest in darkness, and God is the Light.
I didn’t miss it, after all.
To the righteous a light is risen up in darkness:
He is merciful, and compassionate and just.