Trees Really Do Clap In “a land where love… stays.”


 

Invisible Tree Child

“You will live in joy and peace.  The mountains and hills will burst into song, and the trees of the field will clap their hands!” – Is. 55:12

I was a terribly shy little girl and desperately afraid of people.  I learned at a very early age to be silent.  Silence stood a much better chance to keep the tempers from detonating and held the levies in place over the river ducts in the eyes.  Peace.  I longed for peace.

I was two years old when my family and I moved into a beautiful white brick home.  It was an hour away from our old rundown farmhouse that stood, though leaning slightly, in the middle of nowhere.  I believe it was torn down not long after we moved.  Our new home had plenty of neighbors and was surrounded by lots of trees, beginning with a row of huge pine trees that stretched along the property line between us and our next door neighbor.

The yard at the new house was big and hilly.  There was lots of room to roam and dream, space enough to let my mind imagine a land where good always wins and where the truth didn’t hurt – a land where love… stays.

The back porch was a cement slab that was painted grey with just a few steps.  The front deck ran the length of the house and had a wide staircase in the center.  It was painted with the same grey paint and had a big bench style porch swing.  I can remember the cool summer nights that I would curl up with a blanket and fall asleep cradled in the rocking arms of that swing.  I loved lying on it while it swayed during a warm summer rain.  There was something soothing about the tapping of the raindrops on the roof above, and hearing the water run down the waterspouts into the blades of grass.

Many mornings my little feet would lead me to the back porch to watch the sunrise.  It was there that God would make the clouds dance for this audience of one.  I was filled with awe and wonder and often questioned, “Is that a peek into heaven?”  “How long does it take to get there?”  I was a quiet child but my heart broke its silence there in His presence.

“Open the eyes of my heart that I may behold wonderful things from Your law.” – Ps. 119:18

Invisible Tree Child - edited

He captivated me each morning with the wonders of His creation.  As my eyes gazed into the heavens above, I went from being the invisible silent one to being seen by Him.  This child didn’t know much, but I knew God was with me and He was peaceful.  No matter what the day would unfold–I was held.

Some days were less than calm.  My family has had to weather many storms, and each of us dealt with those storms the best we knew how.  Some, like me, were quiet, and some like the sound of thunder.  When the thunder began, I knew the lightning would follow.  Often, I would go to those massive pine trees that stood halfway between our house and the neighbor’s.

There was one specific tree where the branches made a perfect staircase up to a branch that had a flat spot for me to sit.  I was sure it was made just for me.  Some days I would sit there for what felt like hours.  I had friends in the neighborhood, many I’m still in touch with today, but through many seasons those trees held me as God came down from the dancing clouds to sit with me.  Sometimes it felt more like His hand wiping my tears away rather than my own.

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; He rescues those who are crushed in spirit” – Ps. 34:18

I vividly remember the day my neighbors asked if they could trim the half of the trees that were on our side of the property line.  When that day came to a close and I looked out from my second story bedroom window, my heart felt like a hot knife pierced through it.  They didn’t just trim the trees, they cut all of the bottom branches off.  My staircase to “heaven”, my haven, was chopped down.  My hiding place was gone.  Quietly in my room, I cried.

Years passed, and then adult life kept me busy.  I soon forgot how God would meet me in the middle of His creation, and how He would hug me in those special moments.  Just a few week ago, as I was sitting out on my second story deck praying with tears, I heard a sound in the breeze that caused me to pause.  As I allowed my ears to tune in and find the source of creations music, I looked to see the tree just to my right.  Time had allowed the tree to stretch one of its arms to the edge of my deck.  It was clapping!  Its leaves were tap – tap – tapping in sync with the rhythm of the wind’s howl.  I listened in amazement!  For just a moment the levies in my eyes broke as I watched in wonder.  The wind gently blew across my face, and in that moment, it felt more like His hand was wiping my tears away rather than my own.

a land where love… stays.”

Invisible Tree Child - edited

The house I live in now is far more than I could have thought to ask God for.  I am in awe of Him!  I’m grateful that He has brought me here during this quiet season of life.  My house is surrounded by wonderful neighbors and I have lots of trees.  My trees got chopped down so many years ago, but today God gave me a house in the middle of trees.  I may not be climbing trees these days, but I can walk out on my deck and know that the same One who held me with His creation as a child still holds me today.  He meets me here and fills my home with what my heart so longed for as a child.  He fills my home with Himself, with His peace.  I now know “a land where love… stays.”

Most often, it is in the quiet place of waiting where we hear God and are able to see Him.  In stillness, He unfolds the mysteries our hearts are longing to know.  His whispers ride on the winds and the trees really do clap their hands.

He promises, “Draw near to Me and I will draw near to you…” – James 4:8

If we allow ourselves to acknowledge Him, we will see that His presence has been our saving grace, and He our ray of hope all throughout our lives.  It’s the surrendered heart that allows God full access, ears tuned to His voice and eyes that gaze into His, where love abides – “stays.”

Will you pause for a moment and take time to reflect on your life’s journey?  How has God hugged you, talked to you, and shown His love for you?  If you will drawn near to Him and seek Him, He will open the eyes of your heart to see and know Him.  You too may hear the trees applauding and see the clouds dance!

“Peace.  I longed for peace,” and I found Him! 

~Shannan

Invisible Tree Child - edited

“Seek me and you will find Me, if you seek Me with all of your heart.  I will be found by you, declares the Lord..” – Jeremiah 29:13-14a

6 Comments

  1. 12/03/2015 at 11:50

    Shannan,

    I’m so glad God blessed you with these ministering words to share.
    They certainly give me great pause for reflection.

    Peace and Love,
    Bill

  2. Carol Frost Austin said,

    12/03/2015 at 11:50

    Shannan, well said. It lets others know how much God loves us.

  3. patthinks said,

    12/03/2015 at 11:50

    One of my best memories of childhood was sitting in our kitchen on a lazy summer morning, the breeze blowing in thru one screen door and out another. I could see the grain in the fields waving peacefully like water on a lake. The sound of the wind in the screens and the cool breeze felt like peace washing over me. Thank you for bringing me back to that place again.
    In His Love, Pat

    • 12/15/2015 at 11:50

      What a beautiful memory, Pat! Thank you for sharing and awakening more in my mind also.

  4. Gail said,

    12/14/2015 at 11:50

    This morning, for some reason, I remembered the Parker Trio and that Warren Parker had been hit by a truck and killed. Your trio had ministered in our church in Alberta a couple of times. I wondered, how is his wife doing? Has she remarried? Well, it was only a Google search away. I found your blog and have been blessed by your writing. I am encouraged to see that you have remained faithful, that suffering has made you more beautiful in Christ. God bless!

    • 12/15/2015 at 11:50

      Gail, How sweet of you to think of me! I have such wonderful memories from our trips to Alberta and the beauty of the land out there. I have not remarried yet, but perhaps some day. Thank you for taking time to write and encourage me. May God richly bless you!


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