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The Tree of Life - Dorothy Tyler

The sweetest thing that ever happened to me occurred on my honeymoon. David, my husband, had just finished a pre-architecture study at McNeese State University in Lake Charles, Louisiana. We had decided to move to another city in order for David to continue his education. In Lake Charles, I had been working for the Kroger Company which had a number of stores in the town we were moving to, so that afternoon we went to see about transferring my job. We got lost looking for the first store. At a red light we asked two girls in a car beside us where it was. They didn't know where that store was, but one of the girls was going to work at another store. They offered to let us follow them, so we did. Upon arriving at the store, they invited us to a Christian young people's meeting. We told them we were not interested. One of the girls offered to ride around town with us to point out the particular grocery stores. She was a great help, but her presence did bother me some. Her smile was different than mine; there was something complete about it. It was time for supper so we were going to offer to take our new friend out with us to eat. However, she came walking back from a phone and announced that we were all invited to eat at a married couple's apartment that night. She told us that they were expecting us and that everything was ready. We could hardly believe it! Our best friends never invited us over for dinner. How could these strangers do it? The girl assured us it was a normal occurrence with this couple to have new people into their home, and that they enjoyed it very much. So we went.

We were warmly welcomed into their apartment and yet still very uneasy. At their table the prayer was sincere, real, and touching. They all prayed together, one by one. Never before had I been inwardly touched by prayer. To me, prayer was just something from memory, a duty, and not a real encounter with God. This was very different. They all had that complete smile, and their eyes looked at you directly while speaking and listening. What was so attractive about them? We consented to go to their meeting. How surprised I was! There were about fifty of them, and they all expressed what I had seen at the apartment--a smile that was not empty and a look of interest that was not false. We were handed Bibles and songbooks. I was amazed to see them singing with all of their hearts to God. They began to stand up one by one and speak clearly about Christ in their experience. Some spoke of Him in the Bible as being the Tree of Life. Some praised Him for being so wonderful, real, and present to them. I believe my mouth must have been open. I was enthralled. I had never heard such things before. Their words were full of meaning and content, and their expressions showed that they were satisfied. All of them were happy, and they all said it was because of Jesus.

While singing a song which said, "The Tree of Life, how sweet the fruit, with Christ as life complete. How precious did that tree become, when I began to eat," my eyes dropped to the floor. I was convinced that I had never taken Christ in. I had not known it was possible. Suddenly, David stood up, weeping and pointing to them all. I wondered what he was going to do. He was not like that at all. He was just like me, not like them. Then I heard him say, "I don't know what you people have, but I want it." When David sat down I stood up and said, "He wanted to go out dancing tonight. I'm so glad we're here!" With those words I opened my heart to the Lord. In tears I sat down; David and I embraced. Now we were both like them: we had let the Lord Jesus come into us. Our first bite of Christ as the Tree of Life was so sweet.

Dorothy Tyler


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