Archive for August 9th, 2022

Stunted Growth


Written by Kelly Minter, a contemporary author. This is an excerpt from her book “Encountering God—Cultivating Habits of Faith Through the Spiritual Disciplines.”

Early this morning I took a walk around my neighborhood. Redbud trees line several of the streets, and they delight me so, especially when they bloom purple megaphones announcing to the world that spring is here. The strip of grass on the street side of my sidewalk isn’t wide enough for me to plant my own. Otherwise, I’d have a row of redbuds greeting you upon arrival. That skinny sidewalk strip of grass is the one downside to my street. Today on my walk I noticed a single languishing redbud in a row of thriving ones. The ones flanking it were several feet taller and vibrantly stretching upward; the flagging tree had a mere two branches growing mostly sideways. Cast in the shade of towering branches whose leaves blocked the sun, I realized the struggler was failing because it didn’t have the light it needed to thrive. Hmmm, I thought to myself, nature is hitting close to home today and trees aren’t supposed to meddle like that. When other activities and busyness crowd out the time I need to hear from God, my growth is stunted, spiritually and otherwise. After all, God’s Word is more glorious and penetrating than the sun, said the psalmist in Psalm 19. And when God’s light transforms our hearts, I like to think we bloom like redbuds.


Written by Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), an American essayist, lecturer, philosopher, abolitionist, and poet.

For flowers that bloom about our feet;
For tender grass, so fresh, so sweet;
For song of bird, and hum of bee;
For all things fair we hear or see,
Father in heaven, we thank Thee!

For blue of stream and blue of sky;
For pleasant shade of branches high;
For fragrant air and cooling breeze;
For beauty of the blooming trees,
Father in heaven, we thank Thee!.

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