We were on our way to visit some family north of Dallas a few weeks ago, and summer was starting to set in. In between attempts to perfect the angle of the a/c vent on my balmy face, a corner lot’s single oak tree caught my eye.
I didn’t stop to take a photo, but its distinct profile left a shadow-image in my mind.
It was a full-grown oak, but this past year of severe drought had probably weakened it. The two lowest branches, one on each side, were snapped at the trunk and sagged diagonal to the ground. Tired arms, weak from years of strength, no longer able to hold up the sky. Growth now reached down to death.
And I felt like that tree: tired from spiritual drought, really. Wasted arms sagging at my side, give-a-damn 100% busted.
Later I see that tree in my mind, and I remember. I remember that Jesus promises rest for the weary. REST for the WEARY! And I want to scream it. Rest from trying too hard! Rest from failure! Rest from running in circles! Rest from losing heart!
I preach that to myself, and I take my sister up on her offer of a little creative retreat last weekend. I see that tree when I close my eyes, and I try to paint it. It’s rough, and I don’t care, and I slather on a reminder that I know I need.
Rest: take it! Please, take it. We can’t hold up the sky.
/// I’ll be posting more photos from the retreat over at everlee later this week