By: Kate Rapier
There is this tree right outside of my front window. A wall of trees actually. They are big, lush, green trees. Not evergreens, but in the spring and summer months they are big, vibrant, beauitiful trees. I apologize that I do not know the proper name for these guys, but botany has never been my strong suit. All I know is that they are tall, green, and beautiful.
I was drinking coffee while looking out the window at this row of big green trees one morning, and smack in the middle I saw a small amount of bright red. I was so confused. I thought it had to be a very still red cardinal. It was that kind of intense, bright red that just stood out. Once I realized the red wasn’t moving, my only other rational thought was that I must be hallucinating or that my eyes were bleeding. Ha! Seriously…I just didn’t understand it. There, about twenty feet high, on a little branch something BRIGHT red. I rubbed my eyes (and really secretly prayed my eyes weren’t bleeding) and tried to focus. I also prayed that I hadn’t completely lost my marbles and that I hadn’t started hallucinating.
And then I saw it. FLOWERS. Red, bright, blooming flowers. Like, real flowers with petals. Have you ever heard of such a thing? I have never seen flowers blooming, ALONE, out on a branch, 20 something feet in the air. Yet, there they were. In a sea of green, there stood these brave little bloomers.
Ever since spotting them, I am completely fascinated. I think I am so enthralled because I feel like I am those flowers sometimes. I feel like they are out there, literally “out on a limb,” doing their own thing. I think about how it’s lonely sometimes not being planted with other flower friends in the same box. That being out on a limb, they don’t have the security of rich soil surrounding them when rain, wind and storms start to come.
Yet, these flowers, right where they are planted, are GROWING and serving a PURPOSE. And it reminded me that I, too, am growing and serving a purpose…even when it feels like I’m alone, out on a limb.
Also when I take a closer look, these flowers aren’t just out there alone doing it by themselves. They are actually connected to a tree. Growing from a tree. A big, strong, vibrant tree…whose roots run deep into the ground. And it reminded me how important it is for me to be connected. Connected to something bigger than myself, my Creator, and connecting myself with other friends who nourish my soul and who lift me up. Because the lie that I am out there on my own, is just that: a lie.
It also reminded me that I can’t compare myself to where others are planted. For where I am planted is serving a unique purpose that only I can fulfill. But guys, why is that so hard? I know comparison steals joy, but it’s still a trap I have to fight hard to not let myself fall into. It’s been a real struggle for me lately. God is gently reminding me. Sweet one, I have you planted where I want you to be planted. You are growing and serving a purpose.
So, thank you bright red flowers for teaching me to appreciate where I’m planted. Thank you for the reminder that I am growing and fulfilling a purpose meant just for me. In a sea of green leaves and foliage I want to be more like you. Bright, vibrant, fully present and rocking it on my branch out there in this crazy awesome world.
Photo Cred: Chelsea Steller