The trees with white blooms that are donning our landscapes this time of year are Bradford pear trees.
From a distance one tree can appear to be a solid mass. After the blooms the tree has dark, glossy leaves through the summer; and in the fall the leaves turn to autumn shades and even some of them to a deep maroon. It is no wonder that this has become a popular tree since it was introduced in America in the 1960s.
We have a volunteer in our yard that grew from a seed from one of the trees in our neighborhood. We never wanted this tree in our yard. We tried digging it up twice but it came back, and is now nearly 20 feet tall.
Like anything that appears so beautiful from a distance you may not know what is behind and underneath. Get close to a Bradford pear tree and you will notice a distinct odor. Get even closer and you will notice the prickly thorns. They have shallow, but tough roots that can spring up anywhere around the tree. And these trees do not stay beautiful forever. After 20 or so years they become top heavy, and split off, sometimes right down the middle. Then there is the expense of cutting the tree down.
These trees remind me of human beauty that is only skin-deep. If you get closer you will find shallowness, and thorns. Human beauty without fruit is lifeless; you can look but derive nothing from it. In time it will break from its own heaviness; and in the end it is good for nothing but to be cut down.
Unlike the Bradford pear the pear tree that bears fruit is not beautiful to look at; but it can still be bearing fruit in its old age, seemingly struggling to bear up under the weight. Beauty and youth are not what counts in the kingdom of God, but endurance and fruitfulness. This is proof of the kingdom of God within us.
The roots run deep, as Christ dwells within the heart; as we are rooted and grounded in His love, comprehending with all saints the breadth, the length, the depth, and height, and knowing the love of Christ, that is beyond knowledge, being filled with His fulness. Ephesians 3:17-19
“For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant,
and as a root out of a dry ground:
he hath no form nor comeliness;
and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.” Isaiah 53:2
“O taste and see that the LORD is good:
blessed is the man that trusteth in him.
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.
Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away:
and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it,
that it may bring forth more fruit.
Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit;
so shall ye be my disciples.” John 15:1-8
Father, please bear the fruit of your Spirit through us today. (Galatians 5:21-22)
In Jesus name I pray. Amen