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The Ugly Tree


Several years have passed, and I mark out each day with a silent wish. I look across the road and I see something that doesn’t belong. A tree that is hideous; a tree beyond any kind of symmetry, a tree that is very ugly. It’s beyond any kind of redemption. It is bad, and needs to be cut down. It is an eyesore.

When I see it, I’m aggravated. It never, ever really belongs. I dream of sneaking past the road and chopping it down. I want it to fall. Why should it blight my eyes? Why should I allow it to obstruct my view of the wonderful mountains? It is all wrong. (I rejoice at every wind-storm.)

But sometimes, God will speak to me through the “Ugly Tree.” There is a moment when we just might see something beyond the normal. It stands, because He made it so. Could not the Father have made it His “visual aid” just for me?

  • In my own personal sin and twistedness, could I be the spiritual version of “the ugly tree?”
  • Could the cross of Jesus be “the ugly tree?” The place where He absorbed all our sin?

Both seem to be relevant to me.

As I type this I’m looking across the road. Maybe it should stay as it reminds me of who I am and how much the cross means to me. Perhaps it should stay.

ybic, Bryan