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Under the YumYum Tree


Author’s note: For some reason, when I first heard the name “Banyan Tree” my brain heard it as “YumYum tree”.  It delighted me for some childish reason and the name stuck.  But they are simply one of my favorite living things.  I never miss the chance to sit under one and feel it’s long arms seemingly wrap around me.  And the other day as I wandered around south Florida I did just that.

One thing I love is the concept of a prayer closet… a place where you shut the door to the outside world at large and simply meet with your God.  In this place you are open and honest.  In this place He is the same with you.  There is no place in the world more harsh, more raw and more real.  There is simply no place better.  And quickly I realized something.  A prayer closet doesn’t have to be a closet at all.

Sometime a prayer closet can be at the base of a YumYum tree.

***

Not all who wander are lost, and sometimes there are those who are lost but yet don’t wander.  I sat with you under the YumYum tree and I knew I was neither.  I wandered and I was lost. I knew what it was liked to be lost.  As one that was both a wanderer and lost, I sat with You there, back to the trunk…

Under the YumYum tree

I was alone, and I was lonely.  A sole survivor on the face of the world or perhaps just a ghost of one that weaves in and out of lives mostly unnoticed and haunting.  A specter of dreams and wishes, and losses.  I sat truly alone, deep in the place where one does not ever want to be truly alone.  But there I sat… there we sat together…

Under the YumYum tree

I remembered insults that broke my heart.  Slights that were ever so slight like finding the smartest crack on a windshield.  You can ignore it all you want, but you know it is destined to break apart all of who you are eventually.  It’s just a matter of when.   I was broken and I felt heartbroken and together we watched as that crack spread…

Under the YumYum tree

We fought passionately.   That is, I fought passionately as you listened passionately.  I ranted of how promises needed to be made and how miracles needed to be done.  It was out of my hands so it had to be put into Yours.  I was mad at You because You could do it so easily and how do You claim to be of purest love if you won’t even do this one thing?   I sat angry at You…

Under the YumYum tree.

You spoke.   You asked me what it was I would ask of You.  I longed to have some great faith as the centurion who impressed you so had.  I wished to simply say “Just say the word and your servant will be healed”, and then you would do so and give me great respect.   I wanted so bad to have great respect from You.  I felt unworthy of ever earning that feeling from You.  I hung my head in shame…

Under the YumYum tree.

Deep down in my heart of hearts, alone but not alone, lost but not lost, angry but not angry, afraid and truly afraid, my heart finally prayed the words in purity, “Just say the word and it will be done.”

And You spoke the words of a promise…

Under the YumYum tree.

And tonight, many nights later…

Thousands of miles away from those twisted roots and those large arms stretched out like a mother bird hiding her little ones under the protection of her wings, I awoke.  I’m no longer wandering but I am still lost.  I am no longer alone but I was still lonely.   I am no longer afraid,… that’s not true.  I’m still afraid and I remain heartbroken.  And I woke up lost, so you called me back to sit with you there under that tree and talk, and pray and weep.

So here we sit, my back once more against the gnarled trunk, sitting alone with You.  And You look on this lost soul sitting here.  And You lean over.  And You whisper one single word into my ear.  And it’s a command and it’s a promise and it’s a time of love.  You simply whisper…

“Live”

And I am forever changed sitting here with You…

Under the YumYum tree.

Psalm 34:18, Jeremiah 29:13, Ezekiel 16:6

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