"The Shedding Tree"
There is a forest near my home
Where through the ages trees have grown.
Tall and mighty, towards the sky
these trees have grown to please the eye.
But though they're tall and heaven bound
their roots are shallow in the ground.
They grow too quickly to give thought
to the parts that eyes see not.
For many years the trees stand tall
but just one storm can cause their fall.
And when they finally hit the ground
they split and crack with thundering sound.
And so their growth is all for naught
and all their wood is left to rot.
Now here we learn a lesson true:
that looks and status will not do.
Though fame and glory we adore
to grow up strong we need much more.
Another tree stands near my home
out in a field, it's all alone.
It is not pleasing to the eye
it's wind-worn, crooked, all awry.
But there it stands, still in its prime
this tree has stood the test of time.
While other's grew up tall and fair
this tree grew with much more care.
It knew that storms would come its way
and so it readied for that day.
When autumn came it shed its leaves
and saved its strength for greater need.
Though unattractive, cold, and bare
this tree shed its worldly care.
It grew deep roots that none could see
and through the storms they held that tree.
And when the spring had come again
it bloomed once more with pink and red.
So when it comes to you and me
often we're not much to see.
But life is not about the fruits,
more important are the roots.
Be the best that you can be
by growing like the shedding tree.
Love your little, crooked arm,
your messed up hair, your lack of charm.
You don't have to please the rest
you just have to be your best.
Grow up honest, strong, and true
but most important, just be you.
One day while serving an LDS mission in Benicia, California, my companion and I were knocking on doors looking for someone to teach. Anyone that has served a mission knows well the days of endless rejection. This was one of those days.
Near the top one particularly large hill we knocked on a door, and almost immediately we heard the sound of two young boys running to answer it. The following dialog is what we heard through the door:
(we assume they were looking through the peephole):
Younger Boy: "I want to see who it is!"
Older Boy: "I'm older so I get to see first."
Younger Boy: "I never get to see first!"
Older Boy: "You can see first next time."
(Older boy looks out)
Younger Boy: "Who is it?"
Older Boy: "I don't know, it's just a couple weirdos."
Younger Boy: "I want to see! I want to see!"
Older Boy: "I'm still looking."
Younger Boy: "Let me see! I want to see!"
Older Boy: "Okay, fine."
(Younger boy looks out)
Younger Boy: "Hey! Those aren't weirdos! Those are angels! Mom! Come look! There are angels at our door!"
Their mom came and opened the door, but when she saw us she just told us to go away. I remember walking away from that house thinking "If only she could see through the eyes of her son."
That day not a single person let us in, but what that boy said forever changed my perspective on missionary work.
Angels are messengers sent by God to declare glad tidings to the world. We usually think of them as heavenly beings, but we forget that they can be you and I. If we live good lives and do our very best to follow God, He will use us to bless the lives of many other people.
It is my prayer that each of us will seek out opportunities to love and serve others. God needs more people that he can trust as messengers of truth. He needs more of us to give Him our heart; to love Him more than anything else in this world. I promise from my own experience that He will guide you, and you will be a light in the lives of many other people.
So, if these angels do show up at your door, let them in. You have no idea how much they have sacrificed to be there. You very well may be an angel to them.
My name is Jordan Michael Anderson. My life's mission is to do as much good as possible.