Inspired by Shel Silverstein’s ‘The Giving Tree’
God accepts you ONLY as you are because of Jesus. Rest and live in that confidence.
Shel Silverstein tells a narrative of pure love and the model of Jesus in a short story about a tree and a boy in ‘The Giving Tree’. The boy and the tree grow together, with the tree sacrificing part of itself to serve and care for the boy in each phase of life. From providing a snack in the form of an apple, shade from the summer sun, lumber to explore the world and live an adventure, to finally having only a stump the now elderly man could sit and rest upon, the tree consistently lays itself down in the best interest of the boy. The boy consumes every provision the tree offers, growing from the nurturance, accepting the pieces of the tree to construct a vessel for his adventure, then resting on all the tree has left to give.
The lesson in this story is bilateral. The perspective we bring from our season of life and personal experience determine how we will apply the morals.
On one side, the tree is enabling the boy. It is giving, giving, and giving again until there is nothing left of itself. When we spend all of our time focused on emptying ourselves into others, we risk becoming a shell of a person. You cannot pour from an empty cup, we must take time to be refilled and maintain relationships which are mutually investing.
From the opposite side, the tree represents Christ. In the time Jesus spent walking the earth, He was growing with us. Physically growing, and exemplifying emotional and spiritual growth to ultimately bring us closer to God. He gave until there was nothing physical left He could provide. Broken, disabled, mangled and physically dead, all that remained was a place to sit quietly and rest. And still, He provided.
Who are you? The boy who consumes? The giver who enables and invites themselves into a situation of unilateral love and is left empty? Or the grown man who now sees all the sacrifice the tree has made to provide for you, even if your appreciation is long overdue?