I just was taught something and experienced the Allegory of the Olive Tree First Hand. (Jacob 5)
I have a little Mugo Pine that I planted in my garden this spring. I nourished it and watered it, mulched it and took great care of it for several months. At some point I thought to myself, and given all the rain that we had been receiving, that my little plant was well established. Well mid-summer brought us a week of scorching hot days. I didn’t give any thought to my Mugo Pine for an entire week. In fact at the beginning of the week I noticed it and saw its beautiful shape, perfectly formed, lush green needles, it looked to be the picture of health. So beautiful with its natural shape that nature gave it.
Well at the end of the week I went out to look at my garden. I was peering here and there, walking along the paths when suddenly I came across my Mugo. I stopped abruptly and gave a gasp out loud and cried, “Oh no!” Most of the needles were brown on top, barely a green in sight. The beautiful form that I had just admired at the beginning of the week was ruined. I took off in a run, threw a bucket under the hose and filled it to the brim and lugged it to my pine. I gave it several long drinks of water, but I knew it would be no good. I would have to cut off the dead brown needles, it would probably survive if I gave it careful care from today and if the rains come again, but it would be deformed and ugly.
I went back into the house and confessed to my husband what happened and then started to unload the dishwasher. As I worked I felt more and more anger at myself, foolishness and laziness. I started to mourn the pine and thinking that this was somewhat silly. It is just a plant after all, not one of my children. A thought occurred to me, what if my children turned brown from the heat like a plant? So in my anger and annoyance at myself, I found I was starting to cry. I thought why am I crying? Any gardener knows how long it takes to grow a plant, how much patience it takes to watch something grow from a little seed or transplant, how delicate they are. I said to myself, “It grieveth me that I should lose this little tree.” And instantly I remembered the words of the Savior from the Allegory of the Olive Tree.
I started to cry even more as I realized the lesson the Savior was trying to teach me, if I learned it the sacrifice of the little Mugo Pine would be worth it. I knew how the Savior felt as he cried those words, “It grieveth me that I should lose this tree.” Over and over again he cried it as he tried to save his vineyard. Digging about and dunging his trees and pruning them. He moved them to better ground and grafted them in to healthier trees. The Master of the vineyard did all that he could to save the trees. I know from study of this allegory that he is referring to the scattering and gathering of the children of Israel. But as a mother I felt it apply to my life.
I ran to the bathroom so not to let my husband see that I was crying over a plant, but now I knew that I was crying because my Savior loves me. I felt his love over losing even just The One. And as a mother I knew this could apply to my children, I may not see the brown burns on the outside because the damage of neglect goes unseen until it is too late. This week our darling Jillian crumpled in tears at bedtime over things that little girls need not worry about. I do recall that I went through something like that as a little girl. Perhaps with more nourishing and care it could have been avoided.
I felt humbled by this experience that the spirit taught me from the sacrifice of my little pine.