Initials of Love

Honestly, it was impressive. I instantly connected with the shot. It held thoughts of nature, the mark of love, and a reminder of damaging pain. It was a photo of a paper birch tree with a heart cut into its bark. Time had aged the engraving. The gap had widened. The marking was a deeper tone than the trunk and the grooves had curled with the seasons.

You’ll catch me in my free time outside with a camera, capturing the beauty in my surroundings. Sometimes it’s a glorious sunset, other times I find a tiny flower stretching up higher than its neighbors. But trees, somehow, they speak to my heart. Perhaps it’s because they start tiny in the dark then break out into the light. They stretch their arms to the sky, almost in worship. And their branches spread wide providing shade or a refuge in a storm. They remind me of man’s life journey and how I desire to live.

So, seeing this bark permanently branded with a shout of love to the universe excited me. Imagine feeling love so strongly that you want to memorialize it. But my next thought was of the scarring.

Deep wounds… bad relationships can cause those, resulting in a recoiling, much like the rolling part of the bark. And a desire to move as far away from the gouge or the pain as possible. The scabs of life may heal, but deep wounds scar, leaving a permanent mark. A reminder of brokenness. In relationships, it can mean we’ve been so damaged that we are unwilling or unable to go there again.

The tree, with the heart-shaped cut, is still doing what it was designed to do. It is growing taller. Pointing upward. Providing protection. We too can continue living. Loving is what makes us tick. And loving deeply means our wounds can go to the core. In bad relationships these scars can be viewed as a lesson with the shout of our resilience. And in good relationships they can be a beautiful reminder that we have loved, and we continue to press on.

Perhaps my affinity for trees comes from a singular tree that held Ultimate Love with metal spikes so many years ago. That tree also shouted and still resounds to the universe and to all who will listen that Love Himself lives on.  And in that I will say there is great beauty in some scarring.

Blessings my friend,

Debbie G


Suggested reading: John 20:27-29, 1 Peter 2:24, Isaiah 53:5

#BeautifulScars #Resounding Love # LoveLives #ShoutingTree

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