Winter brings out the truest form of the trees. The beauty and foliage of spring and summer and fall no longer hide all the imperfections that the stark nudity reveals. All of the odd shaped bumps and crooked limbs are glaringly exposed. You can see where the tree has been wounded and healed, the empty abandoned nests. Nothing is hidden anymore. I think crises are like that for people. A sort of winter where our truest forms are exposed.
10 years ago, I was 4 days past my 21st birthday when I first held my son in my arms. And I fellhopelessly in love, and then all over again when Chloe was born. I admit to being a bit of a mother bear. Fierce at times, ever protective, and reluctant to have my littles out of my sight or my arms. When Chloe and a friend were threatened by another kindergartner who told them he was going to kill them, she reassured her friend that "God would protect them, and I'm gonna tell my Mama". (Imagine a bit of a southern, Texas drawl because that's how it came out). Rolled up into that sentence was the absolute trust and confidence that Mama could, and would, fix it.
In 2 days, I'm going to hand my little man over to people I don't know so they can cut open his arm and re-attach his bones. I don't even let my kids be babysat by people I hardly know. And the amount of control I have over this situation is zero. I know as far as crises go, surgery for a broken arm is way down on the list. But this is MY crises and MY kid. So my world became suddenly very small. I confess that in the last few days, I couldn't have cared less about the starving in the horn of Africa, or somebody else's troubles. (sorry.) My only concern was for the health and well being of my only son. In the midst of feeling completely exposed and vunerable as my selfishness and lack of trust reared up; I can find hope in the words of Richard Foster who writes that the winter is when true growth occurs. It is when the tree focuses all of its energy on putting down deep, life substaining roots that will prepare the way for the beauty of spring.