If you fall from a tree, and no one is there to hear you…

Melissa Ann Howell Schier
4 min readMar 8, 2023

I wonder why it is that when I am visiting my mom, I start thinking about things that happened when I was living at home, as a child.
Maybe it is because I was about to do a painting of my sisters home for her, but I could not find a picture of it to paint. So then I was going to paint a picture for her of our childhood home, instead, and the picture I looked at, had a tree in the side yard, that I remember well.
In fact I dreamed about it. It was the tree that I loved to climb as a child.
My dad would really encourage the five of us to climb trees, my sisters and I, and see who could get up in the tree fastest.

I remember because I was so light and lean, I could scramble up most trees, quickly and this tree in particular, in our side yard was one I loved and climbed a lot because it had a lot of knot holes that stuck out that made good foot holds. I think it was a mature holly tree.
Anyway, one particular day, I decided to climb that tree. Not once in my tree climbing career, did I worry about how difficult it might be, or if it might damage the tree, or if I could fall. I just loved to sit up in the tree and look down.

Well, this particular day, as I made my way to the top, and reached for the last branch, that branch broke off in my hand, and I lost my balance and I fell all the way back down, hitting my head on the side of the tree on my way down.
I was just a kid, and I was hurt.
The tree did not apologize and did not take care of me. The branch did not support me. No school teacher or friends or computer app were around to offer me advice or give me directions or comfort me. Even my dog, Kypie, was not my best friend at that day.
The “environment” had not changed and could not be held responsible. There was nothing illegal, no lawyers to call or people to blame.

It was just me, and my mom, who was there to comfort me as soon as I made it through the door, my head bleeding.

Parents are immediate. Parents are important. Parents are competent.

Parents are evidence of love. The one place I could turn was in my home; where the people who were most needed, my parents, were always right there. I wonder if all the creations of this earth, (trees, barns, stars, and rivers) are all just “environments of opportunities” for us to recognize that unique and unbreakable relationship with our parents, and then reflect it to our own children?

If parents are gifts, given to us by God, is it so we will recognize Him? It says in John, Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.

I wonder if, when we become parents, we will begin to “understand” parents and then “HE” appears, when we recognize the Christ, or “the good” in our parents. And we are most likely to recognize and understand the good in our parents, when we have become parents ourselves. Interesting thought huh?

When Jesus sat with the little children in his lap, and said that we were to be like the little children, was it because Jesus was demonstrating that children understood and trusted that their parents were always there, guarding, caring for them and loving them, even when not in direct line of sight.

That trust, in the good of other people, which comes easiest to children, is the way we are able to see “Christ” in our fellow man, something children do easily and naturally.

My son was telling me about how Jesus wanted us to love our fellow man. He explained that kind of “love” of others was a Greek word that means we were supposed to want the “well being” of others around us.

The word Jesus used, was not Eros or romantic love, and it was not philia, or brotherly love, but was Agape, or fatherly love. Fatherly love, like the love of our parents, is love that intends to ensure of our well being as beloved children.

I love this idea, and love how immediate it is. In these times of problems, addictions, strife and division, we still have our parents as a resource, their behaviors, their kindnesses and generosities, and THEIR LOVE, which we can recognize as the very epitome of what God gives us as an example of HIS love.
We are not alone, we do not need to be afraid, and we do not have to worry about the climate, the environment or the government. God is our parent.

God, not just anyone, GOD. Crazy huh? But really exciting.
And as for me and mine, even when we fall out of a tree, and even when all the branches are broken, we still cannot fall out of the arms of Love…God’s arms. Nope, can’t happen.

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Melissa Ann Howell Schier

HoustonWorkout on YouTube, mom of five, journalist and artist and conservative who values life.