A solitary tree

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By Marc Lopez

Magnificent Mondays

Monday, April 14, 2014


"A solitary tree has sunk its roots in the crevices of the wave-washed rock, and defies the battle of the elements that rage about it during the storms of winter,” R. Fitch writes in the Monterey Cypress newspaper, 1889.

TODAY the Lone Cypress Tree still stands along the 17-Mile Drive along Pebble Beach, California. It is probably the most photographed tree in the world. Dendrologists estimate that it is 250 years old. Its age and size is nothing compared to the giant redwood trees of Yosemite, found in the same state. What distinguishes the Lone Cypress?

It stands alone. Between the land and the sea. As if standing in the gap between heaven and earth. It has braved the powerful winds of the California coast. It has survived an arsonist’s attack in 1984. It is tenacious.

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The tenacity of the tree symbolizes what everyone is looking for. The old and the young. The poor and the rich. The unschooled and the educated. Unchanging. Unflinching. Unconditional, tenacious love. The tree stands alone like a lover on the dock who silently prays: “I will always love you. I will always wait for you.”

Carmina has spoken these words many times. For many years. Until she could not wait for him anymore. This morning she is looking for love. She knows she is in the wrong place. With the wrong person. At the wrong time. Someone sees them. Takes a photo. Uploaded it on Facebook.

She is crazy to read the comments. But she does. She has heard them before. But reading the words, while the world watches her with condemning eyes, feels like she is being skinned to her very core. Left with nothing. Alone. Condemned. Her eyes blurred with tears she reads through the entire thread until it stops after one final comment. It’s from her Dad: “Let him who has not sinned cast the first stone.”

She cannot believe it. Him whom she has rebelled against. Him whom she has disrespected. Him whom she hates. He does not condemn her? He loves her.

Are you Carmina? Or Charles? Are you in a place you do not want to be in? Are you looking for answers? Are you tired? Are you angry? Are you too successful?

This is what this whole week is about: God meeting your need. Our need. The need for unchanging, unflinching, unconditional, tenacious love.

Wherever you are, in Boracay or Bacolod. Whatever you’ve done or are going through, good or bad. Whomever you are with, sinner or saint. God wants to put an end to the thread of negativity. Failure. Stupid. Apathetic. Sick. Backslider. Sinner. Hopeless. Rejected. Loved. Unconditionally.

Like the Lone Cypress Tree, God alone, from the tree on Calvary, shouts in silence: “I will always love you. And I will always wait for you.”

Today, choose to believe. No matter what you have done or think you are. He loves you. Let Him.

Choose to have a magnificent Holy Monday!

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on April 14, 2014.

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