“Shelter or Shade”, what are you are producing? As a tree, either shelter or shade is a useful product. If you find yourself in the hot scorching sun of hate on earth, do you provide the life-giving shade from its horrible rays? When the winds blow against the life of the innocent, do you provide shelter for the least of these?
A biography entitled “Dietrich Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy” by Eric Metaxas is a good example of what I’m suggesting. As told by Metaxas, during the rise of Adolph Hitler in the 30’s in Germany, who tried to set up a state church as the outward expression of his goodness. The facts show that Hitler’s church worked well as cover for his wickedness. Many pastors went along with the charade, but not Bonhoeffer. Metaxas explains that many so-called spiritual leaders went along with Hitler to advance, not Jesus, but themselves; this is not being a “form-giver” or a “life-giver”. There is no shade or shelter in these trees. Bonhoeffer stood against these German spiritual leaders, he also stood against Hitler, and he spoke up for the Jews. This is the stuff that gets you killed, as it did for Jesus who stood against the religious leaders of His day. Bonhoeffer found himself in prison and evidently executed; yet, here we are reading about him in a book published some 65 years after his death. What a Bonhoeffer tree is this? This is a life worth living!
A life worth living is equated to a life producing something useful. In the case of our tree metaphor, a tree produces shade and shelter to aid mankind. What are you producing?