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On a morning walk through our neighborhood last fall, my stride was momentarily halted by the sight of a shockingly mistreated tree. While I see many poorly pruned or neglected trees on my walks, this looked less like a bad pruning job than attempted murder (think chainsaw massacre). The horticultural outrage was especially puzzling as the rest of the yard is one of the best-kept in the neighborhood. I resigned myself to daily walks past the ugly, bare branches.

This spring, after a short sunny spell, I was astonished to see lovely clusters of blossoms on the truncated branches. There was obviously more life left in the tree than I had expected, and it made me smile to see the fluffy pink bundles awkwardly attached to the severed ends.

I thought of the beautifully descriptive scripture in the Book of Job, Chapter 14, verse 7-9:  …for a tree there is always hope. Chop it down and it still has a chance– its roots can put out fresh sprouts. Even if its roots are old and gnarled, its stump long dormant, at the first whiff of water it comes to life, buds and grows like a sapling. (The Message)

Thankfully, there is hope for us as well as for trees. Living in our broken world may bring devastating damage, change or limitation; our life may not always look pretty. But for those of us who put our trust in God, He promises a spring of living water within. When the seasons change, there’s always a promise of blooming again.