Do you sometimes feel like a misfit or useless? Or even worse, think of others as such? We cannot see behind their scenes, and neither can others see ours. Many did not even notice the poor widow in the temple who put all she had in the offering.
She probably seemed insignificant, perhaps poorly dressed and a little run down. No one important, not one to notice. But the Lord saw and it pleased his heart. And to him, whether one is serving quietly in their own little corner or doing great works before many, each act and everyone person counts. Just as the following simple story illustrates.
The Tale of the Misfit Tree
“Seeing a tree grow somewhat irregular in a very neat orchard,” said a certain Mr. Flavel, “I told the owner it was a pity that that tree should stand there, and that if it were mine I would root it up, and thereby reduce the orchard to an exact uniformity.”
But the farmer replied, that he regarded the fruit more than the form, and that its irregularity was abundantly outweighed by that more considerable advantage. “This tree, which you would root up, has yielded me more fruit than many of those trees which have nothing else to recommend them but their regular situation.”
“I could not,” added Mr. Flavel, “but yield to the reason of this answer, and wished it had been spoken so loudly that all who demand conformity and uniformity in the Lord’s orchard had heard it. For they would root up many hundreds of the best learners simply because they don’t stand in exact order with others who outwardly conform – but yield less fruit.
Such, alas, is the prejudice of our minds, that we are too prone to condemn those who do not view things exactly as we do. We lay down plans and rules for ourselves, and then blame others if they do not follow them. Too often also are we mistaken in our opinions of others, and imagine that they are only taking up space, when probably they bring forth the fruits of righteousness in greater abundance than ourselves!
[Based on a story by W. Buck from The Biblical Illustrator; in the Public Domain.]
So don’t chop the Lord’s trees down, but try to see the beauty and value of their uniqueness!