Continuing with my sharing of “United Prayer, a Tree and a Nest,” it would be days later that I would find myself with my husband on a mission to pick out our Christmas tree. As my husband dropped me off in front of the nursery I got out of the car and I was hit immediately with the smell of a pretty potent pine fragrance. Following the smell, like a hunting dog, I found myself standing before the largest and most bushy tree I had ever seen. I knew it was way too big for our living room, but I also felt strongly that this tree was calling to me and saying “take me home!”
As my husband parked the car, I stood guard at the base of this enormous tree that was way too big for us. I didn’t want anyone else to come and claim it for themselves. I got ready to hear my husband exclaim, “Come on Anita, that tree is way too big for us! No way can we get that tree home!!!” I knew that already, but I also knew this tree was special and somehow I was going to have to talk my husband into buying it. To this day, I have no idea of how I got Rob to go along with the purchase of this tree, but he did. At that moment I thought there must be a football game on that he was missing and he was just plain happy to get this “tree thing” over and done with and get home to be in front of the TV! To be more truthful, he was my precious husband who always tried to please me in every circumstance. Clearly in this instance he would have been quite correct in looking me straight in the eyes and telling me, “We are simply not buying this tree. . .No!” Had he done that, there would be no story to tell! So, thank you Rob, for always going along with my crazy ideas!
The tree was tied to the roof of our car and somehow we got home safely with it, but it just wouldn’t fit through our front door. We pushed, we pulled, and we tugged. I knew that shortly I was going to hear once again the dreaded words, “It’s way too big!” Well, it was! After much determination on both our parts, way too big made it into our living room and we were able to place it in the stand in the designated spot for our Christmas tree. It was so very big that it blocked the light from the two windows that it stood in front of! This tree had girth! Oh my, I thought to myself, maybe I did make a mistake and should have picked out a smaller tree! Why didn’t I listen to my husband? Instead, I listened to a Christmas tree that was having a conversation with me from the curbside of the nursery!
It was our practice with Christmas trees to let them sit overnight drinking in their supply of water and dropping their boughs and branches naturally. The next day we would tuck the lights into the branches and decorate it. The following morning, both my husband and I were busy tucking and draping the lights in and around this tree. As I was pushing the wires through the boughs, I felt something strange and foreign that didn’t seem to be part of the tree. I went into a clear panic mode yelling out to Rob “Something is in this tree that doesn’t belong!” My husband calmly reached in and then carefully drew something out from its boughs. In Rob’s cupped hands was the most beautiful formed nest in the shape of a heart. It was empty but no doubt had been the home of some happy birds who had been safe and sound nestled within this humongous tree. In all our years of hauling Christmas trees home into our living room, we never found anything within them except some dried leaves or pine cones tucked into the branches. This was clearly a very special moment and a happy one I might add because I immediately thought of our prayer regarding the “Pelican” in the nest just days prior on December 8th.
My husband sprayed and preserved the nest for me and then I placed it symbolically in the little brass bowl that was passed around with the prayer intentions on that Feast Day of the Immaculate Conception. Within the nest, I placed two dried red roses that had been brought to me as a gift that same day and also a little bird’s egg that fell out of a nest above our front door at a later time. We proudly placed this treasure in our curio cabinet on display for all to see and admire. Over the years it definitely has become a conversation piece and undoubtedly always leads to the subject of faith.
No wonder the tree was calling to me from the nursery that day I picked it out. It was bearing a gift from Heaven to confirm petitions that were prayed from the hearts of a group of women bonded together in friendship and faith to Jesus and His mother. Clearly, we knew that we all had been heard “loud and clear” that December 8th day! Faith certainly does guarantee huge blessings and what was just an inspiration and unseen for us became “seen” within the boughs of a Christmas tree!
“He covers you with His feathers, and you find shelter underneath His wings.” Psalm 91: 4a 4b
“Faith is to believe what you do not see, the reward of this faith is to see what you believe.” St. Augustine
©Anita Guariglia 2017
Images by Anita Guariglia
Scripture taken from Jerusalem Bible