Reflection - March 2016

posted Mar 31, 2016, 6:27 PM by Sue Weigand   [ updated May 11, 2016, 8:47 PM by Nancy DeBiasi ]
Image result for linden tree    As Lent moves along, I sometimes get caught in the thought that interior change moves way too slowly. I succumb to old patterns of attitude and behavior and slide away from my Lenten intentions. As I reflected on this the other day, I came across something I wrote last summer about a linden tree. This piece reminded me of the value in looking back to where my often-forgotten growth has occured.
    While at a conference at our Servite Motherhouse last June, I went for my usual daily walk one morning. On the third day a tall, wide-branched, fully-leafed linden tree practically reached out and put a stop sign in front of me. The breadth, depth and height of the intensely green tree drew me into its enormous beauty. My heart leapt as I looked up into the wide sweep of branches, hardly able to view the treetop. If a tree could smile, the linden was doing so. I stood in awed attention and listened to its silent voice: "Do you remember when you first met me? You had an office over there, by that window on the lower level. That's where you sat by the old, wooden desk, intent on writing your first book over thirty years ago. How uncertain and unsteady you were. I tried to give you courage and hope when you and I met everyday during that year when you created Fresh Bread."
    As I gazed into the fullness of the linden, I marveled at how it grew from the thin sapling I first knew to the exquisite beauty it had become. I saw the tree as a symbol of the Holy One aiding my spiritual growth since my early years of friendship with the tree. I looked back at my inner history and recognized major changes in spirituality and approaches to personal transformation. I never dreamt as I sat there looking out the window at that small linden when it was not much taller than my own stature that my inner life would grow itself in such an expansive way.
    That visit last summer with the linden tree brought an unexpected view of my spiritual history and filled me with gratitude. As I reflect on it now, I realize that each person has his or her own linden tree. Oh, maybe not a real tree, but some piece of personal history that allows a valuable perspective by which to see growth that took place from some point in life until the present. If we look closely at our history, we may find that we are wiser, freer, kinder, more settled, less judgmental, and increasingly intent on drawing from our inner goodness, living our God-ness. We will have grown, perhaps not as tall and full as a thirty year old linden tree, but progressing in our own way, at our own speed.
    When my days are overly full, when I wonder if I'll ever leave my intolerable and useless habits behind, when I long for spiritual transformation to come more quickly than it does, I want to remember that moment when the linden tree reached out and spoke to me.

Abundant peace,

Joyce Rupp