Together


An unexpected heavy snow last night started my seasonal moaning and groaning early this year. Oh, I love to look at snow. I don't like to shovel it.

But, as in all things difficult, there are hidden lessons to learn. It is only by learning from such challenges that we truly grow.

A few years ago I wrote about the loss of a large branch on our lilac bush. As I stood there looking at the branch, I mourned for the flowers that would never be. The heavy snow snapped the branch and I blamed myself for not preventing it.

Early in the snow fall that day I took time to see the beauty in the way the gentle snow rested on every single branch. Although I love color in my world, I find remarkable beauty in black and white contrast as well.

The branches were bending and I foolishly thought the snow would simply slide off and the branch would spring back.

It was later that I discovered that the weight was much more than the branch could take.

So, one of the first things I did today was to shake the snow off as many branches of the lilac bush as I could reach.

In doing so, I discovered something new.

Life and all of its pressures will cause many of us to bend, even fall. It was the remaining leaves on the lilac bush that helped to bring it down. The snow would have most likely passed through the branch had it not had so many places to land.

Like the things of life we hold on to and gather in our hands, mind, and heart, the normally small events of everyday life would normally pass us by. But the more worry we carry the more places little things have to pile up on us.

When friends and loved ones appear to be burdened by life, it is our obligation to help free them of this heaviness and to lighten the load of strangers we encounter along the way.

How?

As I touched the lilac bush the smaller branches easily gave into my efforts and the snow fell to the ground. I stretched further to grasp hold of branches just beyond my reach and the snow fell. Yes, a gentle approach did help but, there were bigger branches that would not budge. It was those branches which held the most snow. I was reminded then that it was such a branch that was lost last year. The bigger the branch the heavier the snow.

I took my shovel and placing it against the trunk, I pushed as as hard as I could.

Nothing.

I realized then that I had to get tough. With all my strength I pushed again and again never stopping until the entire bush shook. The snow fell and the branches slowly began to rise again.

I decided that in the Spring, I will call a professional to advise us as to what precautions we need to take to keep the old lilac bush healthy.

The same applies to people. Some respond to a gentle touch. Some need more aggressive efforts and when appropriate, it is best to get professional help.

All that from a lilac bush?

No, from life.

I can remember when I was down, a gentle touch lifted my spirits. When I was fearful, a friend helped me to see more clearly. More importantly, when I chose not to see the truth, good friends stood by me pushing me, lifting me, pushing me again and again until I realized I needed help.

Even when I rejected my faith, my God never rejected me.

So, go ahead and snow. The lilac bush and I can handle it...together.

Bob Perks 2believe@comcast.net

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