written by Pastor Chris Surber
The crooked tree set out to be, when it was no higher than the average man’s knee, all that it believed it could be.
The storms came and went, the rain-softened it, and the sun lent a hand in the shaping as it is bent.
It came to be that as I passed the crooked tree, strolling the woodlands to see what I could see, the crooked tree over the years only came to be more crooked and crooked.
I occasionally strolled by the crooked tree, passing and sending my regards as I went, never having given much thought to the manor of the tree, or the means that caused it to bow as it grew and bent.
Over the years as I passed by, thinking mostly of me, my troubles, my struggles, my hardships, and what I strive to be, I came to realize that the crooked tree looked a lot like me.
I wanted to grow straight and tall, reach the sky, tower high, an emblem, a symbol, what a tree should be, a shining example amidst them all.
Trial and hardship, struggle and pain, a wind of every manner, all types of storms and rain, shaped me in ways unhoped, unplanned until I realized that rootedness, not stature, is what makes a man.
The winds may come, the storms may blow but like that crooked tree, I’ll always grow, staying firmly planted, immovable, shaped by forces unknowable.
I’ll never pass by the crooked tree again without calling that tree my friend, for I am him and he is me, the crooked tree is me on bended knee.