+[restful waiting]+

I am currently reading The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence. Not my typical read for many reasons. Exactly why I chose to read it.

The words I read last night spurred me today - spurred me to quickly paint, within my nature journal, a tree outside my current breakfast room window. This tree will soon have leaves again; for now, it does not.

Apparently the Lord uses barren winter trees to speak to His children. This Brother Lawrence describes, in detail, exactly what I saw and felt looking out my bedroom window in Minnesota. It's odd to read someone elses words communicating what also happened in your own heart, especially when you thought it was only you who saw it.

Barren branches, shorn of leaf, waiting. Roots invisible, but active with renewal. And then...one day leaves push forth anew. And, in Designated time, flower and fruit, reproduction. This is my version, Brother Lawrences was the same. Neither of us seeing the word sketched tree, but rather our lives entangled in those barren branches.

I still see myself as that winter tree.

I still remember crying the Psalms, as if I were sitting with David.  I still remember taking one more step into the darkness of faith, choosing belief when unbelief beat its drums louder and louder and louder with every inch farther I walked.  But I walked toward the Light not listening, instead relying on being Led.  I still hear Piper and Keller teaching me, training me anew; can tell you the words to some of the sermons as I have had to preach them to myself so many times.  I still feel the pain of going back to wounds that had to be reopened to be fully healed.  I still turn my face at the harshness, the exactness, the true winter of it.  I would wish it on no one.  And yet everyone.

But now, beyond the barrenness, I see the Beauty of the activity within. And waiting for each next perfectly timed phase of growth, Provision, is restful.

And I just want to say...the coolest part of painting this tree was painting it for Him.  Ive never done that before!