Dead Branch

It was a Saturday morning in Texas at the beginning of the summer. It was still early in the morning and the sky was overcast. I opened the blinds in my room to let the natural light in and THERE IT WAS. It was such an eyesore. I wanted to close the blinds and turn away and not look. I made myself leave the blinds open. I made myself look and take it in and then I made myself make a decision to take action.

The spring had been rough. We had record amounts of rain and violent storms this year. We had been very fortunate with just very little damage. The very last storm that blew through our area is the one that did the largest amount of damage and it was minor compared to what so many others faced.

So what was I looking at that was SO VERY BAD. . . it was just one single dead branch hanging from a tree in my front yard. All the other limbs that had been damaged and fallen to the ground and we were able to pick them up and move them off. This one branch was up high. It was too high to reach, even with a ladder. It was going to require special equipment to cut down and remove. Thus, we let it hang there off the tree. At first it was still green, but in a matter of days, it turned completely brown, very evident that IT WAS DEAD. Yet, we just continued to let it hang. I started going around the block and approaching my home from a different direction so that I would not see the branch and I could pretend it was not there. Three weeks later, it is still hanging there, still dead, still an eyesore and now, because I opened the blinds, I could see it again.

The crazy thing is that all my neighbors see it. Everyone that drives through my neighborhood sees it. I’m not fooling anyway except myself. That dead tree branch is out there for everyone to see and I am just pretending that it is not there and that nothing is wrong.

Seeing this branch, hang there, on this particular morning made me think. . . how many other things in my life do I pretend are ok or do I pretend that do not exist but there they are for all the world to see, hanging in my front yard.

Lord, remove my blinders. Help me to see those dead tree branches in my life. Help me to find the proper support systems to address those dead tree branches in my life. Give me the strength and the courage to take action and to make the changes that need to be made. Help me to stop pretending that my life is perfect. Help me to take off the mask and to be transparent and honest with those around me. Amen.