Chilema Tree

Yesterday, my big sister Honest and I drove to this small trading centre called Malosa to see a dentist and we remembered that when we were young, my dad took us to a certain place called Chilema up Malosa Mountain. At first we thought it was far and we were worried about the fuel (the struggle is real!!) but we found out from one receptionist that it is only about a kilometer away from the hospital. So off we went to visit this phenomenon.

Chilema (meaning “disabled” or “deformed” in our local language) is this humongous tree that keeps growing and has intertwined trunks and it looks like a whole forest but it is just one single tree. It is BEAUTIFUL!! Oh. My. Days!!! image


The lady we met there said, “It is deformed, because it won’t stop growing and it’s not like a normal tree” (obviously no tree grows up AND sideways to form a forest) and I tried to explain the irony of it and I think she didn’t get my gist ‘cause she kept repeating her explanation and we just nodded politely and walked into this wonder. My goodness, I couldn’t get over how beautiful it was! There are branches and roots everywhere and you can never find where it first started. So we thought we were gonna spend less than ten minutes or something but we kept taking pictures and the minutes ticked away. And yes, it was sooo worth it! image


So yes, of course I am going to talk about how I do not feel that being deformed is ‘ugly’. We have this view that normal is ‘good’ or ‘beautiful’ and anything that is different, we frown upon it and call it ‘disabled’. Handicapped.  Incapacitated.  Weird (not the awesome kind of weird). As long as it is not conforming, it is ‘bad’. Well, yesterday I saw it differently. Just because someone or something is not the same as what you are used to getting does not make it ugly or useless.

Where am I going with this? The past few days, I was down in the dumps because I was struggling with something I felt I couldn’t overcome and I felt not good enough. I felt so unworthy and such a sinner, like, why do I keep failing on this one thing? I reached a point where I hardly slept (apart from the fact that internet has been free after midnight this month, lol), I could hardly eat and I would lay in bed and just feel sorry for poor me. I got the courage and told a friend of mine how horrible I had been feeling.

This is the type of friend that pretty much, gloves off, tells you straight up, no beating around the bush or sugarcoating, why they think you are wrong and they pretty much make you feel the pain, and I was just there like, “why did I pick this friend of ALL people?” But what I love with these type of friends is that they let it sting and tell you, “don’t lick your wound” so next time you actually think twice before making the same mistake. And then they give you the best advice followed by the most comforting and uplifting words. So I picked my sorry self up, and straightened things with God. I was given a quote, “It’s always darkest before dawn” and I remember rolling my eyes like, “here we go with these stupid motivational quotes”. Then I was told, “you’re about to be the happiest girl.” It seemed so farfetched when I looked at my present state.

The service on Sunday was exactly on my need and it felt gooood. It was about how God sees us as perfect because he looks at us through the blood (Romans 8). And then come Monday (yesterday), this is just what I needed to see. That God can turn a tree people are calling ‘deformed’ into such a thing of beauty. He can turn a sinner around and make him/her so beautiful. Nothing is too hard for God. No sin is too vile for him to wash away. It is not by our works, but his grace. I have made many mistakes (and I will keep making them as long as am a human being), but I am relying on him to give me strength to keep on keeping on. And yes indeedy, I was the happiest girl yesterday. That ‘stupid’ quote turned out to be true after all.


There’s no need to be PERFECT to inspire others. Let others be inspired with how you deal with your imperfections.

-Isaiah 1: 18. Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

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