Thursday, December 4, 2014

The Problem with Trees

I love trees. I love the shade they provide and the symbolism of long years of surviving all storms to which the existence of truly big trees attests. It's a good thing I love trees because my land has a marvelously outrageous number of lovely trees. If I told you how many trees with which God has blessed me, you would not believe it. If you did, however, you might resent this great gift because it is so extravagant.  

Since God has blessed me outrageously with all these trees, it seems wrong to complain, but there is one teeny tiny problem with trees. They fall down. This falling down is wonderful when they opt to fall down into nice firewood-sized pieces in the middle of a pasture. Do you know how seldom a tree will do that? Hardly ever. What my trees do when they fall down is land right smack dab on my barbed wire fence. That is bad because my cows can get out. It is also bad because the fence has to be rebuilt. 

There is, however, good news. I love to build fences! I love to string barbed wire and get it really tight. To be honest, (which I don't particularly want to be in this instance but which I better be because I am about to write about God here) I also love it when someone says "Great fence. Who'd you get to do it?" And I can say, "I got myself to do it!" They are always surprised, especially if I am wearing prissy girl clothes, which helps catch them off guard. (Hey, I'm human, too.)

My trees have recently had a falling down contest in the cow pasture and I have had several adventures dealing with it, some of which you may have already read. This latest adventure is not really a good adventure but we can all learn a lesson from it. One of the falling trees was so enormous that it landed on my fence and knocked down a bunch of my neighbor's trees, too. He was very nice about it, since I did not organize the falling down competition and since the trees he lost were crummy trees anyway. A LOT of my fallen down tree was in his woods so we worked out a little deal. I would get the wood cut up for firewood and off his land, clean up the broken mess on his land, and rebuild my fence. All he had to do was be happy, so it worked out great. 

Well, I thought it had worked out great. Some guy had been asking Bill the Magnificent about cutting up fallen trees for firewood and splitting it on the halves. He reportedly has a splitter. He would split the wood and keep half as payment. That seemed like something that might be nice. Neither Sam nor Bill the Magnificent had ever thought I needed my wood split, assuming that I can hoist a tree stump and haul it to the fireplace. That is not really a girl-thing. In case you were wondering. After twenty-five years of hoisting tree stumps, I am ready to have split wood. 

The day came when Mr. Splitter (AKA Mr. Supposed Splitter) was to bring his equipment and split the wood.  He came with a trailer and helped cut the wood. Now, if I had been told about this ahead of time, it would not have happened. I was not born yesterday. Mr. Supposed Splitter loaded all that wood on his trailer (at least two cords) and said his splitter had a flat tire, so he would have to take my wood home, split it there, and bring it back. Yeah, right. I have not seen that wood again! 

Bill the Magnificent has tried unsuccessfully to get my wood back and he has even discussed it with the sheriff, who was not one bit happy about this. It is my opinion that stealing firewood from a woman is not the lowest thing you can do, by any means, but it is not good at all, and I am not happy about it. I thought I was going to give one lesson from this, but writing has gotten me stirred up (which it often does) and I am giving you two for the price of one. 

First of all, Sam Wiley has always told me, "A man is only as good as his word. If his word ain't no good, you can be sure he ain't, neither." Sam is pretty smart about such things, and I believe he is right. Mr. Supposed Splitter has demonstrated by his action that, in Sam's words, "He ain't no good." Because I'm trying to act like Jesus, I have sent word that he can bring my wood back and all will be forgiven. He is not, however, getting a chance with all the other fallen-down trees.

If you get a chance to give your word, please remember this. Do what you say you will do! 

The second little lesson is coming up. For some reason, Bill the Magnificent has not given me the contact information for Mr. Supposed Splitter. That is probably a good thing. It doesn't matter, though, because I have decided to take this matter to the Higher Authority. I have invited God into this situation. There is a great verse in Isaiah that speaks of God rolling up His sleeves and wading in on behalf of His children. I am counting on that very thing. 

"The LORD has bared His holy arm In the sight of all the nations, That all the ends of the earth may see The salvation of our God." (Isaiah 52:10 NASB)

I do not want to even think what it would be like if God rolled up His sleeves and dealt with me about something. He has had to do that a few times, and it was pretty terrible. It did, however get me straightened out. It seems to me that Mr. Supposed Splitter could use some straightening out, and I have asked God to do it. It might not be something Mr. Supposed Splitter will really like, but once he is straightened out, he will be glad. I know that from experience. 

I did not really mean for my fallen tree to be a teachable moment, nor to be an opportunity for getting straightened out for Mr. S. Splitter, but it turns out it is. If that happens, I guess having my wood stolen will be worth it, but I sure had my heart set on split wood.