Monday, 27 February 2017


Ahhh, I just have to show you this!! Beware - this will be my "largest looking" blog post ever, but amazingly it will take you less than 10 minutes to read!

A couple of days ago I took a walk through my neighborhood and I suddenly noticed something I had never seen before. You see, I was pondering about how one's childhood can profoundly affect the present life and how often, nowadays, we carry baggage that is not really ours. Baggage that was loaded onto us by our parents, even if it wasn't done intentionally. So, my thoughts circled around being "psychologically predisposed" or, like I called it in one of my first blog posts, "I limp because my mother limped and I have been watching her for all these years". That's when I noticed some rather unhealthy looking trees...

They were obviously growing wild and they had some really strange looking growths on them. I noticed that almost every tree in my neighborhood seemed to be affected and I wondered if it is just some kind of harmless fungal infection that was spreading quite rampantly. Linking into the thoughts that were on my mind, I was curious if, with so many unhealthy trees around, it would still possible for any of them to grow normally? Or were they predisposed per say? I can't tell you why, but I felt an instant connection with these trees and I almost felt sorry for them, because many of them were misshaped and there seemed to be little chance for a new tree to grow normally among all this obvious affliction. Oddly enough though, there was ONE...just one single tree in the midst of them all that was growing perfectly healthy. This tree seemed to be completely unaffected by all the other ones!

I was intrigued! So the next time I went for a walk I took my camera with. I took one or two pictures and it was as if suddenly all the trees wanted to speak to me! Not in words of course! I haven't gone all wacky on you. (Smiles!) But I did see some amazingly familiar things and I thought that it might be worth sharing...

First I saw this one...a perfectly normal suburban tree. It actually had some thorns on and it reminded me of neighbors that can sometimes be a bit "thorny" too.


Then there was this one...a boxed-in tree. Much like a teenager, it is only allowed to grow within set boundaries and like some teenage hairstyles, it has a distinct discoloration at the top if its crown.

A few meters further on, I passed this little thing...and I couldn't help feeling that this was me! Under-watered, unattended outside the boundary wall, this tree was trying to make it anyway! I paused and shared a moment of camaraderie, then I moved on...

Around the corner, I passed a perfectly manicured tree. I have met a couple of people like that and I must confess, they usually irritate me. Not because of any doing of theirs, but more as a result of my own jealousy since they clearly have a whole lot more water than me!

Moving on again, I saw this rather imposing tree that just simply demanded attention! It was grand, almost striking and definitely dramatic, but I must admit it didn't impress me nearly as much as the healthy ONE among all the ill-fated trees.

Only a little further I passed a comparatively ill-manicured hedge which reminded me of a family with a bunch of slightly ill-mannered and unruly kids...
...and then I paused in front of this pitiful tree. Shame! Having seen all these other trees growing "free" it seemed a little wrong for this beautiful palm tree to be locked up like this! And yet, isn't this a strangely familiar sight? Most of the kids in my neighborhood actually grow up behind bars like this. They are meant for our protection, but they do also keep us "in".

So here's the thing, I really want to know how anyone who has grown up among "ill-fated" trees can survive and become a healthy tree and on my walk, the answer dropped on me like a bucket of water when I was looking at the "healthy tree"! That tree just simply signified Jesus! After all, it was the only boldly healthy and unaffected tree among so many others that seemed rather doomed. It was strong and a perfect example of healthy growth. Yet it was by no means boastful, not even very eye-catching, but undoubtedly awe-inspiring and somewhat majestic. You should have been there to see it with your own eyes! My photo (see above) probably doesn't do it enough justice!

Having grown up among "afflicted" trees, one seems to be needing a clean slate at first (signified by the large field that I passed later on my walk) and Jesus promised that we would get such a clean slate if we invite Him into our hearts! We make a new beginning...

...and having made such a new beginning we would start again. Just like this little one. An offshoot from an existing tree, but somehow "born again" in the midst of our present lives, except this time with no predisposition - HURRAY!

I laughed when I saw this little one because it reminded me of "new" Christians that might still be a little stubborn and cautiously armored. Everyone's different and some of us, including me, might have a slightly rougher looking exterior. As a matter of fact, Jesus will give us such armor if and when we need it!

So that's how nature was talking to me and it was as if I wandered from the past to the present in one short walk, but God wasn't finished with me yet! I was about to see the future! Towards the end of my walk, I saw that if I carry on growing I will bear fruit...

...and despite small beginnings, with Jesus inside my heart and with His light as my guidance, I too will one day stand GRAND and TALL!

All I have to do in the meantime is to be careful of imposturous lights! Not all lights in this world are the genuine thing and man-made lights are rather dim compared to the real thing and they don't always inspire healthy growth.

I am almost finished! But I want to show you a couple more pictures that had very special meaning too...

If you grew up in a home with good and healthy boundaries, then your present probably looks something like this - a well tended garden with little weeds and I am truly happy for you!

But if you grew up in a rocky and dimly-lit place, then don't despair for there is definitely hope for you too! I grew up like that and I have made it through and so can you!

All in all, I have walked just over 2kms today and I attracted some strange looks along the way, probably because of some of the oddly chosen subjects for my photographs, but I think it was well worth the effort...what do you think? If you have time, please leave me a comment below and let me know if you had a new look at the trees during your next walk through your neighborhood. 


P.s. Some pictures haven't made it into the article, but they are very nice too, so I decided to create a little "picture blooper reel". Here are...

The "twins" - both unmistakably beautiful and lucky to have each other...


The "lollipops" - little well shaped trees, lining up like well-manicured school kids at the teacher's door and too beautiful not to be included! Don't you agree?

All photos are my own.


  1. Sue, I LOVED this. Seeing I live in the same neighborhood as you, I'm tempted to take my camera with me next time I go walking! Maybe I'll photograph the dogs in our area . . . many lessons there, I'm sure!

    1. Haha! I love the it! We can start a new craze - life lessons learnt on a neighborhood walk. :) Thank you Shirley!

  2. Absolutely delightful post Sue. So much truth.

    1. Thank you Dianne. Your comment is much appreciated!

  3. I love trees-they definitely speak to me of God's Handiwork. And remember that the Bible says that the trees of the field shall clap their hands.

    1. Ahh that's beautiful, thank you Ruth Ann!


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