"The Christian life should resemble a fruit tree, not a Christmas tree.' - John Stott

Picture from freefoto.com

I’d like you to humour me and imagine yourself as a tree – a fruit tree, in fact. Now you may find the idea ridiculous or perplexing - but why not just humour me for a few moments and try it out?

You are a fruit tree and you have just finished blossoming and now you are actually in fruit. I wonder what sort of fruit tree you have decided that you are? Are you an apple, a pear, a plum? Or something more exotic? I’m sure Freud would have a field day with our choices – but that’s not why I have suggested this little flight of fancy. No, I'd like to suggest that you use this image as a springboard for a prayerful meditation.

Because I'm not present to read this to you, you will need to read the following block of text through once or twice to get the idea and then I suggest you close your eyes and just picture it - let your imagination fly!

Imagine you are a fruit tree in God’s garden.
It’s early morning – the sun has risen and is bathing everything with a lovely glow.
Jesus walks into the garden and you see him as he walks along slowly, stopping to look at his plants and trees.
Then - oh - he is looking at you! Your leaves are a golden-green in the sunshine. You look healthy and you are bearing young fruit in your branches.
Jesus smiles at you and you feel his loving attention, his pleasure in you, his delight in you.
Listen now… Jesus is saying something to you.
Be quiet and listen to what he says.

Try not to read this next bit until you have done the meditation above!

Now you are yourself again - no longer a tree - but we've not finished yet. Just give your imagination one more work-out!

Picture from freefoto.com
This time, imagine that you - as yourself - are walking in God’s garden with Jesus – companionably and contentedly browsing round the garden.
You both stop before a fruit tree.
Its leaves are a golden-green in the sunshine.
It looks very healthy and it is bearing young fruit in its branches.
You smile at Jesus and you talk together about the tree.
Be still for a moment and imagine your conversation with Jesus.

You might perhaps finish by thanking God for the time you have just spent - not washing up, not doing work, but just relaxing in God's presence.

If this way of praying feels strange to you, don't worry - using the imagination in prayer is an age-old method.

1 comments

  1. dormouse74  

    27 January 2009 at 08:43

    I hadnt planned to do any "stopping" this morning, too much to do, but a few minutes looking at blogs brought me to your page, and some much needed time with Jesus - Thank you