A Clog in My Heart

Yesterday, I’m walking alone in the woods behind my house.

Evening in the Pine Forest

It’s not a very big forest, but it’s big enough to get lost in.

I’m looking up through the pine trees, taking photos and moving forward with a grand plan: I want to see the sun set through the pines, and I want to find beautiful pine cones.

A chill settles on the forest, and a strong wind snakes around the trees like it’s coming for me.  I know if I keep walking in one direction, I’ll hit a road, but I’m not sure which road or how far it is from my home.

By this time, I find myself taking a winding path and tumbling out onto a foreign road like I’d been spit out from the forest’s dark mouth.   I’m in some strange neighborhood now.   It’s getting colder, and I’m sapped of strength.

Finally, I clench my teeth and call my husband because I have no idea where I am.   He’s so loving about it, so gentle.  But I’m angry at myself that I have to call him for help, and I refuse to have him drive to pick me up.  Instead, I walk the mile home along a road with no sidewalk. I’m too smart to be lost.  I’m too capable to need rescue. If you saw a hopeless woman without her coat, tripping along and nearly falling back into the forest, you were looking at me. 

Pine Cone on Forest Floor

What is this deep resistance in me?  What ancient sap inside of me keeps me proud and unyielding when I know I need rescue?  I refuse for anyone to come find me and just take me home.

This morning before church, I review my photos:  The pine trees and these cones aren’t oozing sap like they do in the warmer months.  In the colder seasons, the sap thickens and hardly flows.   There’s a clog in the heart of those trees until the summer sun comes and warms it, changes it.

As my husband pours warm syrup over snowman-shaped pancakes this morning, I pray that God would unclog the cold, hardened things in me.  Otherwise, I’ll stay lost and wandering in that dark woods. 

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  1. You know my heart, Heather – the way God speaks into my life on these solitary walks with my camera…and on my walk earlier this morning, He, with kindness, scolded me regarding a pride issue…for it is His kindness that leads us to repentance.

    Be careful on these prayer/photo/walks Heather to not always have a particular subject in mind (the trees, the pine cones, etc.). I've learned to begin with a simple prayer, “Lord, show me Your glory that I might share it with others.” And then I keep my eyes open for that little “thing” that I'd otherwise overlook. May your life and heart be warm in His love this day, dear friend.

  2. Really great story and analogy.

    I read “Survival: Who lives, who dies and why” by Laurance Gonzales and learned how crazy we act when we are lost. We just keep pressing on, certain that the trail will just open up and we will walk out into the sunshine.

    That refusal to admit that we've lost our way has impacted so many — and rather than ask for help, we just keep plowing ahead.