I’m not one who likes to sit in from of the TV to watch or listen to the news. I’ve noticed that being informed of what is happening in this world affects me deeply and even sometimes makes me paranoid. Oddly, that day I sat in front of the TV and turned the channel to CNN. As soon as I turned the channel, I recognized the well known reporter Anderson Cooper, who was in the middle of an interview with one of America’s famous preachers, Rick Warren. He was being interviewed in regards to his oldest son, who had a mental illness, committing suicide. Watching the interview was painful for me, a complete stranger to him and his family. I couldn’t begin to imagine the pain that their family was going through. There was one particular question that stood out to me, and was very difficult for Rick Warren to answer. The question was along this line: “As a christian, do you think that your son will one day go to heaven after taking his own life?” The look on the pastor’s face clearly indicated the controversy behind the question. I personally felt like it was a tricky question, that might even affect his career based on his answer. Growing up in the church, I was always told that once someone has taken their own life, they cannot be forgiven, and cannot inherit the kingdom. There was no hope of saving their soul. I was eager to hear his answer as both a father and a pastor. The words that came out of his mouth spoke life to me that day. Here’s his answer: ” In God’s garden of grace, even a broken tree can bear fruit.” Even a broken tree, can bear fruit! I wonder if anyone else who was watching that interview, received the word like I did. Was he aware that he was sending a message of hope to a broken soul? How can a tree that has been torn down, broken at the roots, with no soil, no water, no minerals bear fruits? That is scientifically impossible. Once a tree has been cut and broken, it can no longer grow, flourish, and definitely not bear fruits.
But then one word changes the meaning of all that: Grace. Grace makes it possible! Grace makes the impossible, possible. It extends beyond what science can prove, and what human minds can understand. It performs miracles, it restores what has been dead and allows a broken tree to bear fruits. Who knows if his mentally ill son will inherit eternal life after taking his own life? Who knows if a broken heart can be mended? Who knows if there is chance to give life after an abortion? Who knows if a business owner can recover from bankruptcy? Who knows if a city can rebuild after a devastating earthquake? Who knows if they can ever love again? Trust again? Smile again? Live again… What I do know for sure, is that if a broken tree can bear fruit in God’s garden of grace, then nothing is impossible. His grace is indeed sufficient.