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  • Writer's pictureRachel Pearsey


I wept today as I drove past. I felt as though I had lost an old friend. There was a fire in Escondido yesterday, just down the street from me. When I climbed up on the roof to see, I had a sinking feeling that this old friend was in danger. The roads were blocked, so I couldn’t get close to find out, until today. The fire had burned the whole field and all the trees in it.

A friend from childhood, rooted in that field for as long as I can remember. Proclaiming to all who would stop to see and hear. Telling its story. A story of a life “struck down, but not destroyed”. A story of roots that run deep - roots that sustain and drink water from wells far below. Even in the falling, there is rising again, new growth, and triumph over brokenness. Limbs can be lifted in praise right in the midst of sorrow.

Ten years ago, this friend was the subject of the first painting I ever made on patched fabric. Through this painting, its proclamation has gone out far beyond that small field on the south end of Citrus Avenue. It has spoken deeply to hearts that find themselves similarly struck down.

So today, I wept. As the sun was setting, I hurried home to get my camera. It felt like a memorial service, alone in blackened field. But as I moved in for a closer shot, I noticed that the living soul of the tree was peaking out from beneath the charred bark! Struck down again but not destroyed! I’m not an expert, but I think it will live. Then I turned around and saw the rainbow, as big drops of rain began to fall. It was one of those transcendent moments that are not easily forgotten. Then to wrap it all up, the western sky sang out with the most glorious sunset!

If you are feeling struck down yet again, stretch your roots down into the living water and believe the promises that sustain!

click HERE to see my pictures of the burned tree and the glorious sunset.

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