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  • Writer's pictureRev. Tarrah Vaupel

"My" little tree


There are SO many advantages to being a pastor at country churches. One of my favorite is the relaxing drive through the country and farmland!


Early on in my commutes, I noticed a huge pine tree lined property. There are pine trees towering all around this particular person's homestead...very uniform in height and distance from each other. Many homes along my route have tree lined yards...some have bushes...but this one place in particular caught my eye on every drive. In the corner of this particular tree line grew a very small pine tree. It hadn't grown as tall as it's comrades and it had bent itself as much as it could to take-in as much early morning sun as it possibly could. The picture listed with this blog post isn't a picture of "my" little tree, but it does illustrate the bending I am referring to.


Earlier this week on one of my commutes back home, I noticed that the little tree had been cut down. All that remained was a small stump and some branches lying on the ground. My reaction to this sight elicited a "gasp" as I drove by. This little tree was so inspiring to me on my relaxing drives to and from our churches, visits, meetings, etc. It possessed the spirit of nature finding and making a way to live and thrive. "My" little tree brought fresh inspiration and "look at you go" smiles each time I passed by. It was, dare I say, a self-portrait captured in someone else's landscaping. And now...it was gone.


Thousands of people drove by this little tree every day for decades...I would assume so anyways based on its size, placement, and "deficient" growth. I'm unsure if anyone else ever noticed the little tree along their way. If anyone else did notice it, did they think it was an eyesore that needed to be removed? Did they notice it in the same way I did along their drive? Did they notice it's death and absence?


The lesson I take away from this is multi-faceted but I will offer a few in these moments.

  • If a tree is able to bend itself to draw from the sun for nourishment and life...we must remind ourselves to do the same amidst life's mountains and valleys...whatever they may be.

  • All living things are as temporary as a single breath...be present and mindful.

  • God bends and twists with us through our seasons of life and pours out unconditional love and grace upon us for the journey...no matter what shape we are in.

  • I choose to follow the Son and the sun. I will bend to follow the Light wherever it may lead me.

  • Take time to notice the little things and share them with others. There is connection in those "little things" that are easily overlooked.

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