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  • Writer's pictureRev. Susan Eaton


Little magnolia in my yard so crooked and bent,

you didn’t start off crooked.

You weren’t designed to grow

so awkwardly,

so strange,

so different from the other trees.

What caused you to be so unusual?

Clearly, something from your past is the reason.

What pressure did you face?

What stress?

What pushed against you so hard

or threatened you so much

that you had to take such a detour

in your upward growth?

But you didn’t continue in that direction, did you?

Somehow you started reaching up towards the light—

you made your way!

Whatever challenge you were facing you made it through,

and now you stand tall among the other trees.

You, little magnolia, may look different from the others

but you’re doing something they can’t do:

You’re showing just how strong you are.

It takes a lot more strength

to stand tall with an uneven past,

than to stand upright with a

smooth, easy, even past.

Sweet magnolia, I don’t know what tried to detour you from the light

but it didn't end you.

It made you beautiful.

Honestly, I’ve never even noticed the others, just you.

They blend in, but this sideways story you tell

makes you stand out.

Every day I look out my window and notice

your uniqueness,

your beauty.

Your uneven past has made you beautiful

because you just kept reaching toward the light.

I’ll remember that from now on.

Especially when I think about the things that bent me,

and tried to end me.

The things that keep telling me that my uneven past

makes me awkward and weak.

Actually, they've made me stronger.

They've made me beautiful somehow

because my God kept shining

His light down on me and I just kept

reaching up to Him.

Thanks, little magnolia.

I needed that reminder.

This is a picture of the crooked little Magnolia tree in my backyard that inspired this post. May you also keep reaching for the light.

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