Shade Tree

He was unaccustomed to the terrain and unaware of the toll the heat was taking on his body.  Running out of water in his bottle, the man wiped his brow only to discover that there was no more sweat.  Heat and dehydration were robbing him of hope for the future.  As he walked on he came upon a beautiful sight: a shade tree.  With the last bit of energy, he ran to the shade.  As he sat down under the tree he noticed a small pool of water on the backside.  He filled up the bottle with the tepid , but cool enough, water and drank deeply.  Exhaustion has taken over and he rested for a while in the shade of this lonely tree.  Soon the heat of the day had passed and the man was able to travel on in the coolness of the evening.  He will ever forget the moment he found the shade.  In the most desperate of times, shade made the difference.

1 The one who lives under the protection of the Most High dwells in the shadow of the Almighty
Psalm 91:1

Wherever you find yourself there are those whose lives are on the brink of exhaustion.  The Kiefer marriage and family have spiraled out of control.  The fiscal cliff and the years leading to it have robbed Jim and Edna of everything they once had.  Jill lost her job last week and faces panic attacks every morning as she feeds the kids.  Brock is closing in on graduation with no hope of a job.  Emma goes from one man to the next hoping to maintain her habit.  Bob blows his money at the track and can’t seem to stop.  Rita has become hopeless and spends her kids lunch money on lottery tickets hoping to win more than she spent.  Caring for his aging mother, Jason has assumed a larger responsibility.  He works more and sees the family less.  So many are within touching distance.  Lives falling apart.  The heat of life’s fire and the dehydration mentally and spiritually robs them of any hope for tomorrow.

Be someone’s shade today.

1.  Let them relax in your presence.  Create an atmosphere where they can rest.  Maybe your friends, small group, or study group could help bear the load for an evening.  Love them and give them shade.

2.  Let them find relief.  Sometimes another conference or retreat is not the answer.  A book does not always fix the issue.  Give them shade.  Watch the kids, clean the house, make dinner, fill their car with gas, take a meal, or something that brings shade to their soul.

3.  Let them rest.  There are those moments when a person needs to take breath.  I have found that going to lunch, or supper, or coffee, or hanging out can be an opportunity for someone to rest.  In those moments of shade, the stress of their life might pour out.  It might emotional.  It might be messy.  Yet, the rest that follows is critical for the continuance and continuity of life.  Without this type of shade we become parched, dry, and brittle and bitter towards life and ourselves.  We begin to close ourselves off to the world around us.  We die a little more each day.

Be someone’s shade today.

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