We did not decide to move to this house because of the back yard. When we looked here, it was December and everything back there was brown. There’s a huge vine thing that takes over the back fence. There’s a ginormous tree that has taken over the whole yard. It’s roots spread above ground over half the yard, killing all the grass that could grow there. The tree is so large, that the leaves fall from it and settle around my *front* door. The FRONT door. It’s in the back yard! Anyway, the rest of the yard is just weeds. Also, if you’ve seen my parent’s house, you know I grew up with a large back yard with no fences and no popular road traffic. This yard isn’t even as big as my parents front yard. And I can’t look out and just see what my neighbors are doing.
But I’ve lived here for a couple months now. And spring comes early to Dallas. I went out on my back concrete slab the other day and I was struck with something. I didn’t understand it at first. But, everything was green. It used to be brown. The weeds had been recently cut so they weren’t a fairy forest height anymore. And there were birds. So many – but not too many – birds playing in my back yard. We have woodpeckers, cardinals, blue jays, sparrows, and those are just the ones I can name. Then, there’s squirrels and geckos. All getting life from this tree. And the birds are singing and the tree is so green. I realize that this tree is actually shading my room from the hot hot Dallas sun. And, it has a perfect branch for a tree swing. We don’t own a tree swing yet, but if we did, it would be perfect.
I never really hated this back yard or the tree, but I didn’t love it. I was kinda like, eh, whatever. But, since that day, I’ve been drawn to it. I want to go sit out there. I want to go sit out there right now just writing about it. I want to be so quiet that the birds come back and start singing. You know, God takes care of the sparrows. He makes sure that they eat, drink, have a place to live. He cares for them. This tree in my back yard is home and caretaker to so many sparrows. And I’m certainly more valuable than a couple of sparrows! The tree doesn’t just take care of the birds, but it takes care of me. It protects my room from the sun. It gives me a place to swing. And it brings me back to Jesus. I now realize that what I was struck with was the Holy Spirit saying, “Hey, Kate! I’m so glad you’re here. Look, we’ve been playing.” And I found rest.
I hope you have a resting place. I hope you can find Spirit in places you never dreamed. And in the places you’ve always longed for.