February 22, 2024

Feb 21, 2024

Image: Barbara Ryther

Trees in Winter

Sometimes I imagine that God sees us as we see trees in winter.
Not through the filter of soft leaves
Or in the warm summer sunshine
But branches, trunk and roots laid bare in the harsh light.

In winter you can truly see a tree’s foundation
As well as its reach.
How strongly does it stand?
How free are its branches?

Scars visible on the trunk
Storm damage revealed in broken branches
A twisted shape evidence of having to reach too far for the sun.
Roots destabilized by the repeated trauma of floods.

Perhaps God is not judging us in the winter light
But instead finding where we can be made more whole
Where we need stronger roots or more reach
Retrained to grow toward the light.

Maybe Lent is a good time to
stand before God and lay ourselves bare.
Acknowledge both where we have grown
And where we need the creator’s touch.

Barbara Ryther

February 22, 2024