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The Tree

I sat down in my usual chair to start my quiet time with God this morning and became distracted by the view from the window. It hadn’t changed, it’s the front garden in one direction and the back in another. I don’t know what attracted me this morning and made me pause and look around.

Usually if I’m in the lounge I’m reading or doing a jigsaw, or watching TV. I have my quiet time in the dining room so I can be alone and quiet and my chair is in the corner. At other times when I’m in the dining room I’m typing or eating and facing towards the back of the house. I choose to sit in the corner so that I won’t be distracted.

Today I became very aware of the space around me. Maybe I’ve been looking outwards past the garden to the places I go to when I’m out and about but suddenly I was aware of the curve of the lawn, which is strange as I designed the garden some years ago and so knew its shape. I noticed the flowers and the colours, their difference and brightness; I noticed that the roses have started to flower and as I watched a couple of shelducks flew across my vision heading to the beach.

It was very quiet in the house. The only sounds I could hear were the chirruping of the sparrows and the ticking of the clock. I can’t really cope with silence because of tinnitus and usually have some soft music playing but again this morning was different and I decided to stick with it as I felt that God had something to say.

Maybe I’m looking out and missing what is close by. Looking at other people, past myself, making comparisons about what they are doing and feeling bad that I can’t do the same, being critical of the way people are behaving during this time of lock down.

Then I thought that I should be looking inwards at what I can do and what I am doing to further the kingdom of God, to encourage people and to spread hope to others and maybe I should be looking upwards to what God wants me to see.

When self-isolation started I valued the time of stillness; time to be quiet, time to talk to my Heavenly Father and listen to him; time to hear what He has to say about what I am doing and what he wants me to think about in the future. It isn’t all about doing – there is time for stillness and listening.

Suddenly, I was reminded of a vision I saw while on holiday a few years ago. I saw a picture of a tree. It was a beautiful tree covered in new leaves and blossom. It stood in a garden with a stone wall behind it with flowers in bloom along both sides of a path leading from a gate at the side of the tree. As I watched the wind came up and the flowers in the bed bent losing some of their petals – but the tree stood strong and the blossom and young leaves didn’t fall.

After the wind came rain and frost. It was winter. The flowers had died; the paint on the gate was flaking off. But the tree still stood strong, covered in leaves and blossom. I heard a voice say –
“I don’t change with the seasons. I am always the same. My love for you will never die. I am with you always.”

I heard those words again this morning.

We don’t earn God’s love, it is freely given. God won’t love us any more if we fill every day with “work”.

God doesn’t change His love is constant.

Jane

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