In my book, A Different Kind of Tree, I am using the tree as a metaphor for who we are, how we grow, what we produce, and how strong we are. It is a function of our roots, the nourishment gained, the soil we chose, and light we live under (or the lack thereof). It is about our growth from sinner to a child of God.
As we live, we present who we are to others…not an earth-scattering idea, but true all the same. Are we kind, selfish, a bully, helpful, hurtful, a liar, honest, dependable, a drunk, an alter boy, or a gang-banger? Our sad culture try’s to tell us that we are born this way or that way. Baloney! We are a function of our early environments, the impacts upon us, and the decisions we make. You may be born into the ghetto, but the ghetto does not always destroy a person; a person making good decisions can escape…and they do. As a female, your father may have beat you or molested you; maybe male bullies terrorized you at school, a male date tried to take advantage of you, so you feel much safer in a girl relationship. Maybe you join a hateful gang because it feels more like family and than your own family with parents that were AWOL; but does this new found family make you a better person? …which is the prime function of family.
We reflect back the image of who we are, like a mirror. Have you covered yourself in tattoos, piercings with boxer underwear showing and wonder why you can’t get a job? As you leave church, are you a hateful driver, yell at the grocery clerk, or throw trash out the window? I guess you didn’t listen to the church service, nor did read your Bible…a Christian in name only, I suppose. What is the main (though stupid) argument people make about we church-goers? …that we are hypocrites (as if there are no hypocrites outside of church walls). But they do have a point. We Christians say that we are “new creations in Christ”, then why do we act like those who are not? Should there not be a detectable difference in speech and action? If we reflect Christ in our lives, others should be able to tell that our nourishment, our growth, comes from the LORD Jesus Christ who is the light unto the world.