by Cynthia Donnelly.
Last Christmas we found one of the most beautiful Christmas trees, or so we thought. We bought it and brought it home.
Only when we put it in the stand did we notice that it had a flaw: it wasn’t quite straight. Our beautiful Christmas tree was leaning into the room. It didn’t seem too bad, though; we could live with it.
By the time decorating day dawned, it was leaning a bit more, but it still wasn’t that bad.
By mid-afternoon of that day, however, just as Pat Probst was finished decorating it, it was leaning precariously. We all agreed: now it was bad.
We have one of those stands where you screw in the tree. We unscrewed the tree, repositioned it, and tightened the screws. No good.
Again we unscrewed, repositioned, and tightened, this time putting a few small pieces of wood into the stand to straighten it out. It was still leaning.
So we performed the whole operation again, certain that we just needed to tighten the screws a bit more and add just one more piece of wood. It was still leaning.
We tied a wire around the top of the tree and connected it to the wall. This didn’t work either.
I went outside and brought in two huge cinder blocks, hoping that this would work. Maureen Ray valiantly tried to cram them under the tree. Nope; it was still leaning.
In fact, it now looked like the tree might fall over at any moment.
We sat back, not knowing what to do. Then one of us suggested we pray a Memorare.
A moment after we finished, an idea came! We could take all the decorations off and turn the tree around. Then if it wanted to lean, it could lean into the wall.
We all agreed. We took apart Pat’s full day’s work and turned the tree around. Voila! It no longer leaned. In fact, the tree didn’t seem to have any lean to it at all.
This episode reflected our life at the time—well, all the time, really. Whether we are dealing with a leaning Christmas tree, a friend with an impossible problem, or one of our own faults and failings, we usually try everything we can think of and nothing happens.
If we then stop and pray, suddenly an answer comes, an answer so simple, so possible.
Voila! Peace reigns again in our hearts and homes.
Please pray for us that, in the messiness of the nitty-gritty of our lives, we learn to stop, pray, and turn the tree around.
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