When I look out my office window at night, I can still see my tree. Too bad it’s just my imagination.
Well, the whole thing is down now. And even though the sight of that stump is enough to bring tears to my eyes, they’re partly tears of joy. Because God is already using this stinky situation to bring glory to Himself. And I can honestly say the tree was worth the sacrifice.
You already know about our immediate neighbors rallying around us to help. Well, now, anyone who walks by stops to talk to us about the tree. People who have walked by our house for two years and we’ve only ever nodded at each other. Amazing.
Two days ago, a woman down the street came up to us and said she’d had a small tree fall over. Gabe and I (and the girls) and our neighbor Jaja marched right over and helped her cut it all up in minutes. And now she’s my new friend.
I made cookies and wrote notes to all the people who helped us, and they all just gushed appreciation. Like baking cookies is anything compared to sweating for hours to cut up a monstrous tree WITH NO CHAINSAW. No, I didn’t give anyone the burnt cookies. And I know they liked them, because I saw evidence of chocolate chips on a few lips.
I gave some to the gal whose tree fell down too. We chatted for a bit, and if felt so good to reach out to someone that I just wanted to dance.
So then today, I was out and about with my neighbor Olga (look at me being all out and about all the time!) when some City tree-picking-up trucks drove by. They had picked up a few of our branches yesterday, and Gabe thought they weren’t coming back. He came out and asked them what the chances were that they might possibly be willing to cut down our remaining (hugungous) branch.
The supervisor guy said they weren’t supposed to do that sort of thing, but that it really was a hazard and would fall as soon as the next big wind hit it. And they cut it down and hauled it away for FREE!! All they left were a few leaves and some sawdust! Do you understand what a HUGE PRAISE this is?! I sat on the ground with Olga and our two little ones and yelled, “Praise the Lord!!”
We swore to secrecy (cutting down a tree when you’re not supposed to). Is a public blog secrecy? If they get in trouble, we will defend them with every ounce of our beings!
They were funny guys too. One was a Steelers fan (and a former Mr. Universe contestant–his supervisor said so). He teased Gabe about giving him a Red Bull. So I brought out cans of cold Faygo pop for all of them when they were done. They were soooo thankful. It was amazing. Instead of a thousand bucks, it cost us roughly $1.00. Unreal.
And then we got to talk to our next-door neighbor who has always kept to herself, and she told us she remembers when the tree was planted (17 years ago). And I heard it through the neighborhood grapevine that she’s going through a very rough time right now, so I’m praying for her.
And all of a sudden, I just felt a huge wave of sadness, missing our tree. And I’m starting to cry. But God is so awesome. Praise Him, praise Him, praise Him!