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A Tree Felled in the Woods

“If a tree falls alone in the woods, does it make a sound?

I always thought this was a ridiculous question. It implies that an action only occurs if it’s observed. The underlying idea is that the falling of the tree doesn’t matter…doesn’t count…unless someone is there to watch it.

In this world where so many of us are isolated, whether because of relationship status or pandemic or illness, many of us are made to feel like that tree…like everything that happens when we’re alone is inconsequential.

This invalidates so much, and it's just not true.

So many important moments in my life have occurred while I was alone…so many trees felled with no one watching—and each of them made a sound.

They made sounds in my heart, my mind, and my soul…sounds that continue to echo touch the lives of those around me.

Some of them were sadness and burdens that fell with my cries of joy.

Some were idols I cut down with tears in obedience and determination.

Some were relationships that needed to be sacrificed for the health of the forest.

And some trees fell simply because it was time. They weren’t meant to live forever.

All these events affected me and curated the forest of my soul to make it healthier, clear it out, and take out the dead wood.

Most of them fell while I was alone, and IT MATTERED. It made a sound.

Those moments couldn’t be more profound to me if someone had seen them. They may not have even happened if I hadn’t been alone.

I can't number the times it took the solitude and the silence for me to hear the still, small voice of the Lord.

So if you sometimes feel alone like that tree in the forest and you wonder if you matter, if the things that happen to you matter, if your life matters at all—it does.

Even in the middle of your aloneness, you matter. Keep tending the forest that is you...fell the trees that need felling.

You change the lives of those around you whether they understand the cause or not; you can’t exist without sending ripples throughout the rest of the world and all of its forests.

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