First Published at http://www.1CorinthiansParenting.com on June 24, 2014
I was startled by the leaves brushing against my shoulder. They appeared out of nowhere dangling from the old elm tree that stood guard over the historic home we were about to enter. “Wow,” I stated, “Now that is a tree!”
We were arriving for a tea party. An old-fashioned artist salon tea party where we learn about an artist, the art he created and the life he lived. A perfect retreat from my modern day busyness. My friend and I were seated inside the beautiful old home on a windowsill bench. We turned off our phones, took a deep breath, and began to enjoy the deliciousness of the food and the history being taught to us. This day we were learning about Federico Barocci, a master Renaissance Painter. He is referred to as “The Painter of the Loveliness of Life”. Soon we were transported to Urbino, Italy in the 1500’s. A time so far removed from my suburban existence. I say to my friend, “Let’s go visit Urbino one day soon.”
As I listened to our amazing hostess and presenter tell us in detail about this man I was once again struck by the thought of leaving a legacy. What does that really mean? I was not gifted with the ability to paint beautiful paintings that would stand the test of time. My skills are not of grand proportion but reality is most of us don’t have those type of skills. Then our hostess shared a personal story and it was etched in my heart the importance of the ordinary and the effect our choices can have on generations to come without us even knowing. The legacy we all are capable of.
The story was shared about how when our hostess was a young girl, her father abandoned their family. Leaving her mom in debt and with the responsibility to raise five girls on her own. As you can imagine times were very difficult. She began to tell us that this old historic neighborhood and the beautiful elm trees that line the streets were threatened many years ago with elm’s disease. Her neighbors were quite worried about their historic trees and a campaign began to have all the trees sprayed. Her family could not afford this so her mom gathered all the girls outside and told them they would do what only they could do, they would PRAY that these trees would not be affected by this disease. So that is what they did, they stood together encircling the tree with prayers. They didn’t have the money to care for the trees but they trusted that God would take care of it.
Several trees in the neighborhood were destroyed but their trees remained and now some forty years later they are the majestic focal point of the property, standing guard over the beautiful family home. You can’t miss it as the splendor of the elm graces the front yard standing as a symbol of God’s amazing provision and faithfulness -those leaves that touched my shoulder.
A profound gesture as we look at it now. A simple prayer offered by a mom and her daughters did more than save a few trees, it is a legacy of faith to share with others for generations to come.
As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty,
nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches,
but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy.
1 Timothy 6:17 ESV