Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Jesus is a Tree Hugger


I had a dream and in this dream, I was in an orchard. The citrusy smell of oranges, the fragrant smell of apples and pears made me happy. Rows of trees for miles stretched out before me.

Some of the trees were huge with ripe fruit and some were only budding blossoms, not yet ripened, and then I heard a rustling from the trees. I wasn't afraid. My heart sped up and my stomach did a pretzel twist. From the trees I saw what looked to be black work boots, but they were knee high. A cross between riding boots and work boots, though I've never seen anything like it before. And as my gaze traveled upward, I recognized a smile on the face of the One who owned the interesting boots. Dazzling white teeth. My hands trembled and I think He knew how giddy I was that we were together. In this orchard.

"Come," He said and I grabbed his hand--peace washed over me. "What do you think of my orchard?"

I don’t think I said anything, but the feeling of beauty and love surrounded me. He led me to two smaller trees. One had a few blossoms, the other was a tad smaller and bare, but beautiful. They fascinated me.

"Sit while I work. I want to show you something."

I did as I was asked and took shade under a large tree, ripe with fruit. I nestled against the trunk and security filled my chest. He looked at me and all I saw were dark eyes. Strange how I could see His face, yet I couldn't at all. Never once was it clear. But the feeling I took away from the way he looked at me was as if He was amused at how I felt nestling under this large fruit tree. As if he knew something I didn't.

He reached up and started to break wilted blossoms off the taller tree, running his hands along the buds with loving care. "This is beautiful, don't you think?"

I did. I almost cried from the overwhelming beauty. Somehow I knew this tree was special. "All trees need treated with care, Jessica. But the young ones need extra."

I nodded and watched as He skillfully tended the tree. He opened his palm and rays of sunshine glistened around the tree like a halo. "Let My light shine." He smiled. I only saw the smile.

Then he moved to the next tree. Pale green leaves, small--showing how tender it was stood next to the tree basking in the light of the Tender and I continued to sit under the giant tree that seemed to shade me with love and protection. As if its branches cherished me. I reached up and brushed one of the leaves before turning my attention back to the young tree.

He knelt and began to smooth the grainy earth around the tree, covering young roots that exposed themselves. His hands moved gently, and he whispered to the small tree then stopped to laugh as if they were having a conversation, but I couldn't hear what was said. He chuckled again and nodded then opened his palm and rushing water burst forth and the  leaves grew vibrant. A green I've never seen before. Not emerald but even more so!

Tears filled my eyes and I crawled near, careful not to upset the freshly cultivated soil that protected the roots of the bare baby tree.

"Do you see how I gently tend?"

"Yes," I whispered.

"Do you know why you love these trees so much?"
I did not.

"They belong to you." He stroked my cheek. "I've given them to you. Gifts. We'll tend them together." And in that  instant, I knew those two trees, one older than the other, were my daughter and my son.

I turned back to the great tree with much fruit and heard the Him laugh, a soft, whispery laugh.

My husband. I'd been leaning against my husband, learning how to tend my young children.

To help them grow and bear fruit. Fruit that lasts. This week was their first back at school. I always  have apprehension. I get nervous for them. I know they'll hear things that will make me cringe--new phrases, new words. Pollution.

But I also know these times are opportunities to trim their trees and teach them what the Word of God says. I know my Savior will be filling them with His light and watering them, tending to them alongside me. Or more like me alongside Him.

And I am comforted.


"I am the true vine; my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch of mine that does not produce fruit. And he trims and cleans every branch that produces fruit so that it will produce even more fruit." John 15:1-2 (NCV)


Have you ever been to an orchard? What's your favorite fruit? And how does it make you feel knowing Jesus is tending to you--to your children, your spouse?
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photo credit: freedigital photos

15 comments:

  1. Beautiful post, Jess.

    I always trusted Jesus with my kids. Oddly, there would be other things that I would want to control or wouldn't be able to let go of in life, but always knew that when it came to my kids, they were in His hands.

    He has watched over them. They are grown now, and I see evidence that He walks with them every single day. I find that same comfort just knowing...

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  2. This is absolutely beautiful, Jessica. My little guy is still just a little sapling. Sometimes I want to put up a barbed wire fence around him to protect him, but I'm learning every day to trust God to help me.

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  3. I love orchards and I LOVE this post. So beautiful! God speaks to me through His nature so much. These words really got to me.
    ~ Wendy

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  4. Thanks so much for letting us share this orchard experience with you! What a beautiful message.

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  5. Lovely analogy! I'm going to keep this in mind when I send my boys back to school in a few weeks.

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  6. Beautiful, beautiful ... just beautiful, Jessica! What an excellent analogy of how God takes special care of the young as they grow. An orchard of His blessings. Sigh...

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  7. Chills...you gave me chills.

    I admit, I'm afraid to be a parent. So, so afraid of failure. I've seen the difference in how kids from even the same family can turn out (my own included). That frightens me too, and opens me up for sooo much heartache.

    But whatever children the Lord entrusts to me, I know that I know that I know He will be there with me, helping me tend to them. Helping me to show them Him.

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  8. This is amazing, Jessica, and just what I need this week. There's someone I'm having to work hard to entrust to God right now. It's not easy. But He's faithful and more than able.

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  9. Beautiful post, Jessica, and one that gives us much to think about. I haven't been to an orchard since I was little, but I remember enjoying fruit right off the trees.

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  10. Crying over here...must have needed to hear that. School starts tomorrow and I'm heartsick about it all. I want so much to always be with my kids. This is a perfect reminder that even though I can't always be with them, He can...and that's more than enough.

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  11. Jessica, what a beautiful picture! I love this--esp. the detail that you were leaning against your husband. How awesome it will be to be walking along w/our Master Gardener some day, and be able to understand all those pruning sessions we had to receive! And how gently they were done, despite how they felt at the time!

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  12. Love this post!

    Since my kiddos are so young, I still get nervous sending them off to school. (My oldest starts 1st grade in a few days, my youngest 3yo pre-k the week after). Without placing them completely in the hands of God, I don't think I could do it.

    Watching them grow and flourish is amazing. And watching their faith develop is the greatest blessing I could ask for.

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  13. I so needed to hear this! You know what I love most, His all-consuming love that showed through here, how He spoke to you in such a tender way...oh, brings tears to my eyes and makes me want to shout Hallelujah! Because while you see His love for your kids, I also see how much He loves their Mamma, and that speaks to this Mamma's heart! Just the whole thing is wonderful...

    So I'll stop gushing now--but really, I needed this--and answer your question...I love blueberries. And bananas. And mangos. Oh, and coconut...

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  14. Oh I LOVE this!!!! Sometimes nurturing my 4 beautiful trees is overwhelming. I was thinking about this the other day, when my house seemed like chaos and I felt like an utter failure. I was thinking, "God, did you really trust me to do this? Really truly???"

    But he did. And I LOVE LOVE LOVE the thought of Him kneeling in the dirt beside me, getting his hands dirty right along side me.

    I've always said that I'll never be a perfect Mom, none of us ever will, but I've given my kids to Jesus and I trust God to make up for me in the places I lack. Please Jesus let it be so!!!

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  15. You know I needed this! Your description is beautiful. Sometimes I forget I'm not raising my kids on my own. God IS in charge, and He loves them more than I can fathom. Thanks for the reminder. :)

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