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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Season(s) of a year or life (01/13/11)

TITLE: The Stickin' Times
By Linda Germain


This is the true story of a stick. In the beginning it was about four inches tall and jammed in the middle of an abandoned flower pot on my deck. This puzzling experience provides plenty of food for thought. It’s a metaphorical treasure; a sermon without words. It all started with a storm.

The pathetic, brown, pencil-straight twig that resided in the big green container on my porch was not put there by human hands. A large tree lost a few limbs while bending low in the face of unexpected strong winds. In the midst of all that excitement, the essence of a tiny seedling was hurled into the air and quietly landed right where it would grow—eventually, that is.

When finally I was motivated to do something with the flowerless pot, I noticed a teensy green shoot no taller than a thumb. Something about its fragile state encouraged me to leave it for the rain and sun and see what natural route it would take. In the middle of the hundreds of details inherent in planning a 300-mile move to another state, I forgot about it.

Moving day came and someone asked, “What should I do with this dead plant; or whatever it is? Throw it out?”

Scripture admonishes that what’s in our hearts will come out of our mouths. I have no clue why I was prompted to respond, “No, I’m taking that with me.”

“But, but…” replied the person holding the container in question, “It’s about as dead as it can be.”

I stopped for a few seconds to stare at the obviously deceased what-ever-it-was. There was only one answer.

“Nope…taking it.”

In with the last load of buckets, shovels, and miscellaneous last things to go went the pot and the stick. It traveled in the dark to the big city and to a parking spot where it stayed shut up in the moving van for three days. When we settled in our new home it was hidden behind another plant in a corner of the patio, and ignored.

All four seasons came and went a few times before the ignored miniature took center stage again—just as I was confiscating the pot for my new geraniums. On the way to the trash can I was shocked to see an infinitesimal green dot on the side of my strange little plantlet. I set it out in the sun with instructions to all within earshot to please leave it alone. Pretty soon another green spot appeared and the thing began to GROW.

Meantime, another more immediate drama was unfolding. Dandy Lion died. He was my dear, nineteen-year-old cat. I sat outside and cradled his old body as I wept long and loud. When there were no more tears for my sweet kitty-friend I happened to catch site of the budding thing in the green pot. Bingo!

My young son and his dad dug a hole into which we gently placed a box that held our departed Dandy. A little boy from next door came to the impromptu funeral. We said a few words about our good old cat and the guys put the dirt back in the hole. As they were looking around for some kind of marker, I pointed to…you guessed it.

More good natured ribbing about the sad, anemic, wanna-be sapling did not dissuade me from the plan. I named it the Dandy Lion Tree. That’s when evidence of the miracle seemed to manifest. By the next week it had grown a foot. It was shooting up faster than Jack’s bean stalk. A few years later my DLT was taller than the house!

Sometimes things have a way of planting themselves and taking root with no help from us. Everything from aggravating weeds to beautiful wild flowers; from bad ideas to missions we never expected, can fall into waiting soil and grow.

Ecclesiastes has a profound lesson regarding life’s seasons. We need to grasp that undeniable concept and figure out if we are sowing or reaping, learning or teaching, living or dying, and to stand firm in faith in the waiting times.

My Dandy Lion Tree had every appearance of being dead. For some reason it wasn’t time--it wasn’t time--it wasn’t time. Suddenly, it was time and the season of darkness, disappointment, and hibernation was over and that pitiful little brown stick who stuck it out became a grand and beautiful tree.

If we wait, God will teach. We will grow.


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This article has been read 657 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Virgil Youngblood 01/22/11
Enjoyable with a wonderful message. I have seen fence posts sprout the same way. I'm curious,though, as to type of tree it turned out to be.
Carol Penhorwood 01/22/11
I can't begin to tell you how this ministered to me...

Your next to the last paragraph was the final culmination. I felt as if you had written this just for me.

Thank you.
Lynda Schultz 01/26/11
Love this–great writing and a priceless message.
Melanie Kerr 01/27/11
I enjoyed reading your article. It struck a chord with me. Well done with the EC place.

Just so you know - I always enjoy reading the things you write.
Rita Garcia01/27/11
I am sitting in tears. I needed this message today! CONGRATULATIONS on a fantastic win!
Lillian Rhoades 01/27/11
An awesome devotional! Certainly not one to read and file away. Also loved the creative title. Definitely "one for the books." Congratulations!

Carol Slider 01/27/11
What an incredibly moving story, beautifully written. Congratulations!
Catrina Bradley 01/27/11
Beautifully done. :)
Brenda Rice 01/27/11
Great writing, great content and great message. What else can be said....just great.
BethMcLendonMiller McLendon-Miller01/27/11
What an encouraging story!
Barbara Less01/29/11
Your story choked me up near the end. It was especially encouraging to me because I feel like some things in my life are like the tree.
Brad Paulson01/29/11
I think that a good Devotion should be an observation that points to a spiritual truth that can be backed up by scripture. It should also touch the reader’s heart in a personal way, expressing truth that is recognized by experience. You really nailed this one. Great job.
Bonnie Bowden 01/29/11
This piece really touched my heart. Sometimes it is through the most difficult times that we experience the most growth.

Congratulations on your well deserved win.