A gentle breeze between the two provided momentary relief.
“Just me, or both of us?”
“I think just you.”
“Why not both?” the young one asked, though with a voice weaker than the other.
The elder looked upon the young tree, and sighed, “Your roots. They do not go down deep enough.”
“And down deep, this is where the nourishment is?”
“But…I’ve always believed, at least, I thought, that there were other ways to find growth, other paths.”
The elder smiled. “Ah yes, the rain.”
The young tree, though close now, for a moment found new life, a spark. “Yes, the rain. It feeds, nourishes, heals…saves.”
The elder admired the young ones zeal. “Is true, all of it. But still…”
“There are those times when the rain does not come. Times when you need…more.”
The young tree looked at the sky, the hot sun baking down on them and all that surrounded them. “Like now?”
The wise tree nodded. “Like now.”
Silence again. This time the silence signified a truth neither wanted to admit, that the time indeed was here. And yet, the young tree found the strength to inquire. “I still…I do not understand.”
Another breeze, this time ever so faint. “The rain does all that you say, but if we do not take it in…”
“All of it?”
“Yes. We must take it all. That is not always the easy way, or the most traveled way, but it is in the end, the only way.”
“So that when the rain does not fall…”
“Then neither will we.”
Long pause, and then, “I failed.”
A sigh, long, and deep. “Yes. But there will be another time, in another place. He will meet you.”
“And I will have joy?”
Hope rekindled, and yet, “But I have to leave this place? Leave…you.”
The hope quickly faded, as he once again gives in to his own weakness. “I will miss so much.”
“Because…you did not take it all in. You looked elsewhere, and found it to be dry. And now you need the roots most. For with them, life. But without them…”
A whisper now, from the smaller tree. “Perish?”
The young one never heard the elder’s confirmation, “Perish.”
"But blessed are those who trust in the LORD and have made the LORD their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they go right on producing delicious fruit.
- Jeremiah 17:7-8 (NLT)
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