I must have twisted my ankle a dozen times as we stumbled down a mile of dirt road deeply rutted by erosion, and littered with rocks and pine cones. Normally, I would have punctuated such an event with a few tears and some serious complaining, but there were several relatives joining us on our excursion into bear-infested territory. With so many witnesses, I figured one must take into account the example she wishes to make for her nieces and nephews, lest her childish ways become fodder for discussion at every family gathering forevermore.
As we reached the little pond, I was more than ready to sit. I lowered my sore, sweaty body to a fallen log and smiled at the 6 dancing bobbers across the water; each attached to fishing poles gripped by little hands.
From my perch, I happened to spot a beautiful grove of aspens. Their fluttering leaves caught the summer sun and sparkled like nature’s emeralds.
As I sat there on the log (hoping all neighborhood bears would find it in their hearts to simply ignore the scent of Hershey bars drifting from my backpack), I couldn’t help but notice the grouping of trees with stunning white trunks contrasting against the meadow and shading one end of the pond. They’re certainly the nonconformists of the forest, I thought.
As I watched them, I thought of the similarities between that grove and the strength found in the fellowship and unity of Christian women. Like the aspens, they stand together through the storms. Their branches become heavy laden and sometimes droop, but when a bough does break, they rely on the strength of those who share the grove because their roots run deep and are intertwined. And though they shed their leaves, suffering through seasons of dormancy, and maybe even lose a limb now and then, those that remain not only find the energy to sprout new growth but continue to reach Heavenward.
God alone decides just where these groves will thrive. He hand-picks each one, selecting the perfect mix of traits, personalities and gifts; yet all possess the ability to grow.