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Tuesday, 20 November 2018 07:00

Lessons from a heart shaped tree

 heart shaped tree

I wonder what things happen in your day that remind you of the presence of God. For me, there are many, but one that often stands out to me is a heart shaped tree. When I drive to my ministry at Parkville Youth Justice, there is a road I travel along close to home. As I look out the windscreen, I can’t help but notice the heart shaped tree off in the distance. It stands out, seemingly alone among the rest of the skyline.

This heart shaped tree almost always brings a smile to my face, perhaps because it is like a visual reminder of the presence of God with me. It is almost like I see it, and hear the voice of God deep within, reminding me that he loves me and that he is with me as I go about my day. Here are just a few of the things that I have reflected upon while gazing at this tree (whilst also looking at the road, of course!)

  1. The heart shaped tree is the heart of God. There is something alluring for me about gazing at this tree. Perhaps it is because it stands all alone in the part of the skyline that I can see, thereby reminding and calling me to come to God and spend time with him alone. Nothing can really replace the beauty and privilege of coming aside to spend time with him, of walking past other distractions until I am in a place where it is God alone that I am in the company of.
  1. The heart shaped tree is the heart of another. The heart shaped tree is also the heart of others, and as I drive to my ministry, I often reflect that it represents the hearts of the young people I will encounter. Many of these young people express feelings of being alone, many do not see themselves as worthy of love, and many have experienced challenging life circumstances which have led them to doubt that love is possible. My great desire is to witness to them that just as seeing a heart shaped tree is unexpected, it is possible for love to enter their lives in unexpected ways.
  1. The heart shaped tree is my heart. I never get close enough to see, but I often wonder who prunes and shapes the tree, or whether it is a miracle of God that it naturally grows this way. Whatever the case, it reminds me to be open to the pruning love of God in my own life – that I would continually allow him to shape me in a way that enables me to both receive and give his love in every moment possible.

Mel Edwards