The spiritual life is much about awareness. God has filled the earth with parables of truth. We simply must be aware of all that contains such truth.
Jesus saw in seed and plant, among other things, a metaphor for what happens when people receive the good news of the Gospel. Amma Theodora saw in the trees that withstand storms a metaphor for endurance. Trees that stand firmly rooted in winter storms bear fruit; people who remain faithful in trial and temptation are bearers of God's wisdom and love.
Like Theodora, Howard Thurman (the spiritual mentor of Martin Luther King Jr.), saw in weather-whipped trees truth. Thurman noted that trees bent with the wind show a certain flexibility. A tree must bend a bit to keep on living and bear fruit. Life will shape us; we will bend according to life's storms. It is good to be flexible. And yet, it is another thing to break. The roots of the tree release hold and break. The tree falls to the ground and no longer bears fruit. The balance here is between yielding and being unyielding. The trials and temptations of life may bend us, make us limp or change the way we grow. This is OK. We learn and we grow. But if we grow stiff and uncompromising, we will fall. "Bend with the wind but do not release your hold, and you can ride out any storm," says Thurman.
What storms have made you change your posture? Did you let go of your roots? What storms are making you twist and stoop? How are you tending to your roots now?