by Melissa White
If I were to be honest, I would admit that during this pandemic, I have experienced some really strong emotions. I have had moments of sorrow, loss, anxiety, loneliness, frustration, anger, and, yes, even love. This last week, I have felt especially small in what feels like a giant, tumultuous storm swirling around me, out of my control. Nothing is “normal” or seems to be of sure footing. I have prayed for my family, the sick, their families, healthcare workers, our country, our leaders, the church, and for the rest of the world suffering from this crisis. With all of that, it has felt too selfish to pray for my own heart, even though my heart has taken a beating.
We, as human beings, are funny. In the middle of all this drama, I found myself, on Memorial Day, scrolling through the internet to learn how to grow a lemon tree from lemon seeds. You see, my back porch is a place of refuge and peace for me. It has always brought me joy to fill it with beautiful, life-giving plants. To add to my lavender, sweet mint, and cilantro, I’ve wanted a porch-sized lemon tree. Seeds seemed like an affordable, although time-consuming, way to get one. Hang with me here, as I’m to the last part and point of my story.
Around noon on Tuesday, I received a call from some very dear friends asking me to meet them in town. We agreed on a time and meeting place. I grabbed my mask and off I went. I pulled into the parking lot to find my friends standing in the middle of the lane holding a gift for me. You could have knocked me over with a feather at what I saw. . . . It was a lemon tree!!! Tears streamed down my face as I heard the gentle voice of my Savior say, “Melissa, I see you. Your heart is important to me. I know you and I love you. Here is your lemon tree.”
You may wonder why this random friend is sharing this seemingly insignificant story in the middle of this very significant time in history. It’s because that lemon tree meant more to me than this article could ever portray and I want my precious friends, who listened to Jesus’ voice, to know just how thankful I am for it and for them. But, more importantly, because I wanted you to know that your heart matters to Jesus too!
Your lemon tree may be a sunset that simply takes your breath away, a bird’s song that calms your heart, a warm gentle breeze that causes you to turn your face into the wind, a friend who texts just to say they are thinking about you, or a Facebook post that causes you to remember who you are to God. Whatever your lemon tree is, see it for what it is. It’s a loving reminder that you are SEEN, you are KNOWN, your heart MATTERS to God, and you are LOVED!
Melissa’s love of people and her passion for sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ has opened doors for her to minister in eighteen different countries on three continents in all types of ministry. She has held positions of youth pastor, children’s pastor, worship pastor, evangelist, and missionary. Her unique testimony has given her the opportunity to minister to people from all walks of life and of all ages.