The Other Tree


I’ve written a few times about the magnificent tree in the courtyard outside my office. I’ve written about the tree’s huge, sprawling branches. I’ve written about it’s growth, change and development through each season. I’ve written about how much I have enjoyed watching it through the years. What I have not written about is the other tree…

There are two trees in the courtyard outside my office. Both trees have huge, sprawling branches. Both trees have experienced similar growth and change through the years. Both have very similar characteristics and attributes. In fact, I would say that there is little to no difference between these two trees.

So, why have I chosen to write about one of these trees repeatedly and all but ignored the other? The answer is simple. I write about the tree that is most visible and easiest for me to see.

I can see the tree that I write about with a quick glance out my window. The other tree is at the opposite end of the courtyard. To see it, I have to get up out of my chair and stretch and strain my neck. In other words, it takes a little more effort on my part. It seems a bit sad to me that I have spent so much time admiring one tree and almost completely ignored the other, simply because it would take a little more effort or work on my part to do so.

As I thought about this other tree, I began to wonder how many things, how many people in my life I overlook or all but ignore because it takes a little more effort or work to “see” them. There are many people in our lives that have so much to offer, so much to share, yet many of these people go unnoticed or unrecognized.

We fail to see them due to a multitude of reasons. Sometimes, they attempt to go unnoticed due to their own shyness or because they lack self-confidence. Sometimes, we intentionally ignore them because of our own prejudices or biases or because we are just too busy. Sometimes, we notice them but deliberately ignore them because they have put up barriers and we are reluctant to invest the time and effort necessary to break through and really see them. Whatever the reason, we often miss opportunities that could bless our lives and the lives of others.

I am going to try to remember the other tree in my courtyard and the lesson that it taught me. I am going to work harder and make a greater effort to see the people in my life that normally go unnoticed. I am going to ask for my Heavenly Father’s help to see them through His eyes. Then, I am going to do my best to help them see themselves that way too….


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6 Responses to The Other Tree

  1. Rusty says:

    Wonderful thoughts there, Sandra. Undoubtedly, we can all “branch out” from our comfort zones to realize God has placed in a big beautiful orchard of opportunities!


  2. MayJo says:

    Excellent as always, Sandra. I too need to open my eyes to those is is harder to look at…those unlike me….those with needs that I can sometimes only pray about. Keep looking, keep sharing and definately keep writing!


  3. Ginny Owen says:

    Wow Sandra – love this post! I’m printing it and sending it to Elder Owen, I know he will love reading it and I’m sure at some point he will be able to use it in a zone conference or when teaching!


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