The sun seems to shine the brightest through the branches of this beautiful tree. Her mighty trunk divides a few feet up into three very strong trunks and there is a little bit of a clearing around her, making it a perfect place for a picnic. It was at this moment of discovery that I knew we needed to buy the tree farm where she lives. I made a tree friend and had to keep coming back to see Caroline. Yes, I named the tree. And, right again. There must be thousands of trees, why this tree? And, I think, “Why not?” She has stood for generations waiting to be discovered. I visit her as often as I can to marvel at her strength, her steadiness, and to help pull a few dead branches from the crook in her trunk.
Have you ever had a tree friend? Have you ever thought about how trees are a little like friends? In the book “Higher is Waiting” by Tyler Perry , you can read about Tyler’s Tree of Life test. It makes sense. Here’s how Tyler describes the three types of people you have in your life.
First there are the Leaf People. These folks are in your life only for a season. You can’t depend on them or count on them because they have weaknesses of their own and are only able to offer shade. Like leaves, they take what they need and as soon as it gets cold, or a fierce wind blows, or the rain comes, they’re gone. You can’t be angry with them, it’s just who they are.
Next there are the Branch People. They are stronger than the Leaf People, but they need care. They may stick around from one season to the next, but if a storm rolls through, it’s possible they’ll break apart and you’ll lose them, It’s important to test their strength before you can rely on them. It really depends on how long they’ve been growing with you. If it’s been a while, they’ve probably gained strength with time. New branches may not be able to handle too much heaviness. They can split when the going gets tough, it’s just who they are.
Then there are Root People. When you find someone who is like the roots of a tree, you know you found someone special. Root People may be hard to find because they’re not trying to be seen. They do their work underground. But quietly and without fanfare, they provide help and support and nourishment. They are happy when you thrive. Come what may, they support your soul. They hold your soul up. A tree may have many more branches and many leaves and only a few roots, yet it is the roots that are strong, resilient, and powerful.
I am thankful for the Root People in my world and if you are reading this, I am pretty sure you are one of them – thank you!