Have you ever been bent?
I used to think I was pretty straight up and down. But then I realized that I was really just a vulnerable little tree. And a giant humongous storm came and even though my tree was straight, it bent. It bent waaaaaaaaaaay down. So far down that it cracked at the bottom and the roots came up. What a disaster. All those roots sticking up and looking all ugly, like Medusa's wicked snake head. I felt like I was exposed and my insides were hanging out. And even though not everyone could see them, I knew they were there and I was "off limits".
This is my story. This is the Story of Slightly Bent. Maybe you can relate too...
Once there was a tall beautiful tree that lived in the Forest of Light and Shadows. It was a happy tree. Until one day a terrible storm came and shook the tree from top to bottom. When the storm was over the tree was alive, but barely. The tree hated that storm. It hated it so much because it broke it and the tree hated what it now looked like. It hated to see how weak it actually was. It thought it was strong. It thought it was invincible.
For a very very long time the tree sat on it's side. Mourning it's broken ugliness and wishing it were the way it used to be. The tree tried to get up. But it could not. It kept trying though. Oh how it tried.
Then the tree would look around while it was lying on it's side and look up at all the other trees and thought, "How come I'm the only tree like this? Nobody else is broken or bent like me." Then the tree noticed all the birds and squirrels who would come to the tree looking for it's fruit, but the tree had no fruit to give them. Oh how it longed to give them some fruit. But since it was lying on it's side instead of being rooted in the ground, there was no way for fruit to be produced. This greatly saddened the tree as it had a great desire to produce much fruit.
So the tree lay there.
And it lay there.
And it lay there.
And it always tried to budge. And it would always fall back down. And the discouragement that tree felt was almost as excruciating as the storm that blew it over. "I'll never get up." It though as it let out a pitiful sigh. "I'm going to lie here like this and rot away until I die."
Now the tree didn't know this but the Farmer who planted the tree had been watching it since before the storm ever came. The Farmer watched the tree struggle to get up and fall back down. All the while the Farmer was hoping for the tree to call out for help.
Then one day the tree called out into the air "I'm dying!" And the bugs and worms were starting to crawl all over it. "I'm dying and there is nothing I can do to save myself!" And then from out of nowhere the Farmer came over. "I know." He said. "You do?" Said the tree. "Then why don't you just fix me!" It cried. "Because, if I just "fix" you, you're going to break again. I don't want to fix you. I want to heal you. You've got moss, fungus and bugs crawling all over you. If you want me to get those things off, I'm going to have to scrape them off and it's going to hurt. And I'm going to want to chop off that old broken part of you. So, if I do this, you're not even going to look like a tree for awhile. You're just gonna look like a stump."
The tree thought about this. It though about how long it had been broken. How long it tried to get up. How long the bugs had been crawling all over it. And how miserable it had felt.
The tree let out one last heaving cry into the air. "Okay." It said. "Do whatever you need to do. I'll do whatever you want me to do. I just don't want to be this way anymore."
"Are you sure?" The farmer asked.
"Yes." Said the tree weakly. "I'm sure."
"Great. Then I'll just get to work." And the farmed immediately pulled out a large sharp ax.
"Wait!" Cried the tree. "What are going to do with that?"
"I'm going to get rid of the broken part of you that is rotting off your insides" He said. "Did you have something else in mind?"
"Well," said the tree. As it began to bargain... "Can't you just spray some Miracle- Grow on there and maybe some flowers will grow over it?"
"I could..." Said the Farmer, "But underneath those flowers, you would still be a rotting tree."
"Oh yes, I see." Said the tree. "Well, then I know you know what is best. So you may chop it off." It said quietly. So the farmer nodded and placed one steady hand on part of the tree and held His sharp ax over his head with the other hand. And in one clean chop the majority of the trees' bug infested broken part was chopped off. The tree wailed loudly but The Farmer patted the top of the tree were the clean open rings shown.
"There now." He said kindly. "It's over." Then he went around and cleared the earth beside the tree and and put the tree stump back in the ground so it's roots were no longer showing.
"Now I don't look like anything." Said the tree.
"Sure you do!" The Farmer smiled. "You look like a nice clean stump. And it looks a lot nicer then being a bug infested rotting tree."
The little stump-tree agreed. "I feel alot lighter." It said. "And nothing hurts!"
"I know." Said the Farmer.
"Will you come back and water me tomorrow?" Asked the tree.
"Sure." said the Farmer. "I'd be delighted to."
So the next day the Farmer came back and watered the tree. And the tree asked the Farmer to come and water it the next day and the Farmer did, and the next day and the next and everyday thereafter.
And something miraculous happened. The tree started to grow again from the center ring. It grew and it grew off of it's old stump. Until the tree grew over the stump and became Slightly Bent. It didn't mind being Slightly Bent, because even though the tree was strong and tall, it's slightly bent shape always served as a reminder to what had once happened to it and how nobody could help it heal or save it, except the Farmer.
And you know what else happened? It began to bare fruit again. More fruit than even before the storm. So now there were lots of little birds who came to make their home in the tree's lovely limbs and the squirrels dinned on its tasty nuts and fruit.
And to this very day the tree asks the Farmer to come and water it and every day...He does.
Author's Note: please visit HERE as proof that Slight Bent really does exist!
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