They signed their name and it was theirs, the first house they could call ‘home’, the one with the huge tree in front.
Less than one week passed before they knew they’d need someone to come see about that towering hardwood.
The tree expert showed up with all his equipment and gave them the bad news.
That giant tree, with branches stretching across the yard, towering above everything else on the street–though it measured more than 5 feet wide, there was at least 3 feet of hollow on the inside.
We drive by and Jason tells me this, shows me the big tree, and who would ever guess that there’s nothing on the inside?
This world tells us to love the big-the big news, the big time, the big stuff.
‘Bigger is better,’ they say.
And the small things get lost somewhere along the way.
But more often than not, the bigger things get, the more hollow they become.
Somehow the heart gets lost as the limbs stretch high and show off.
We look like Samuel for the tall and the handsome and the strong and the polished.
God looks inside, at the heartwood. He knows that the big outside often means nothing but cavities within.
We want to follow what’s popular, to be a part of the crowd, we want to be where the big stuff is happening.
All the while God wants to start small, with a tiny seed, hidden down deep in dark soil.
We want to stretch far, feel strong, be noticed. We’re with Caesar, numbering and counting.
God wants us to get low, serve quietly, and notice Him. He starts with Christ, a baby in a manger.
When God is big, it’s no big deal to stay a small thing.
Who wants to be big if it means being empty?
That big hollow tree hadn’t really been one for years. And we’d driven by it nearly everyday for two.
But now, with it cut down, it was so easy to see…it was growing on the outside but dying on the inside.
And all the big was fooling us all along.
But now that there’s this hole, this empty spot, there’s finally room for a real tree, real life. There’s a real chance at something really alive to grow right here in this spot they call home.
But it will have to start small, it will have to be a small thing. And there’s just nothing wrong with that.
“Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7
My great mentor and friend, Kandy Persall, author of Hungry for More, kindly posted words of mine on her blog today. She is going through the book of James and her insights on this challenging book are perfect. Read along with me?