A Branch of the Tree

The decorating is finally finished at our house.  Whew!  I had to do it piecemeal because I didn’t have one long stretch of time to do everything.  So even though I knew that we wouldn’t have time to decorate the tree until the weekend, at the request of the children, the tree was one of the first decorations that I got out of the basement.

Artificial trees are great because you don’t have to water them or vacuum needles, but you do have to find a place to store it and assemble each layer, piece by piece.  So one morning last week when I happened to be home from work, I dug into the bins in the basements, taking about 10 trips to drag the branches of the tree upstairs.

If you have an artificial tree, you also understand that after being squashed in a box each year, each bough has to be fluffed, so to speak so that its individual branches aren’t bent at odd angles.  As I was assembling the layers according to color coding on the base, I wondered if the branch I held happened be stuck in the back or in the front the previous year.  A silly thought, I know, so I dismissed it, thinking it doesn’t matter where the branch is or what it looks like, because what people see are the ornaments that each one holds, whether it be a breakable, intricate star or a snowflake made by loving little fingers.Christmas

In much the same way, I realized, we are part of something much larger than ourselves.  Individually, we may be scruffy, rough around the edges or bent the wrong way.  But when God places us where He wants us, directing our branches where they need to go, we can become something so much more beautiful.   And when He places on our branches delicate ornaments, that need extra loving care, glittery homemade ornaments for everyone to reminisce about, or favorite ornaments that always bring a smile, no one notices the branch itself – just the ornament it is holding up.  We can be that branch, lifting up others through our actions, our service, our love.  Our own wants, desires, and imperfections do not matter if we let the Decorator adorn our branches with the silver and gold of His hands.

And when we are able to step back from that beautiful tree and view the creation in its entirety, we see how each piece fits perfectly together – how each piece is where it is meant to be – where our God intends for us to be.

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