A Tangled Beauty

My husband and I used this past weekend to get away, unplug for a bit, take in some of the beauty of the west coast of Florida, and relax.

I didn’t go with the intention of learning but as I reflected on the weekend and some of the beautiful sites we saw, God offered me a lesson on perspective.

A Banyan in St. Pete

I saw this tree that I found to be absolutely beautiful. It’s called a Banyan tree and is one of many types of strangler figs. They grow from seeds that land or are deposited on other trees. As the tree grows, it sends down roots that eventually smother the host tree and grow branch like supporting pillars into the ground that look like tree trunks.

The banyans brought to mind this approximately 600 year old oak tree that is located in the back yard of my Dad’s childhood home. It’s not a banyan, but it speaks to me in much the same way. This is where many childhood memories have taken root and are planted firm in the depths of my heart.

Banyans are the worlds biggest trees in the terms of area coverage. The largest one alive is in Kolkata India. It covers 4.7 acres and can shelter 20,000 people. Their fruit sustains many species of birds, fruit bats, primates, and other creatures.

The 1250 year old Great Banyan Tree in the Botanical Garden at Howrah. (Photo and info from ScoopWhoop)

Being a “strangler” and “smotherer” sounds incredibly negative and somewhat sad. But what I see is beauty in the way this tree grows, it’s sheer size, how many creatures it provides food for and the vast number of people it can shelter.

It makes me think about my own life and how I can get tangled up in, strangled by, and often smothered by the hectic tendencies of my own day-to-day busyness and this world, that I often fail to step back and see (as best as humanly possible) the big picture of my life. My life may sometimes appear to be a tangled mess but it truly is big, beautiful, and incredibly blessed.

My prayer is that through faith and God’s grace and mercy that my life produces good fruit and many seeds are planted and will lead many to the widespread goodness of a life of faith.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

John 15:5

God bless you my friends!

Kimberly

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