You may have heard someone say, “You can know a tree by its fruit.” That’s actually a biblical reference to understanding certain people by their actions. Matthew 7:16a says, “By their fruit you will recognize them.”
I would have to agree. If I see a tree with oranges on it— even if I had mistakenly identified it as a different type before—I know that it’s an orange tree. We have several in our neighborhood. Leaves may mimic the shape and size of a similar tree, but if it’s got oranges… there’s no doubt.
Did you know that you can know a tree by it’s sound? Well, almost. Actually, you can know what’s going on inside a tree by the sounds coming from it. Let me explain.
It happens every year. We have several trees on our property. At just the prescribed time, the trees begin to produce their flowers. These are large trees that we often walk under, but not so much at this time. Why? Because the trees hum. A very LOUD hum. Sort of like a small motor. A motor being powered by hundreds of bee wings—that could mean hundreds of bee stings.
The bees are doing their assigned task in the work of pollination. They know before I do that the branches are going through some radical, post winter changes. The old is being replaced by the new and plans are already in the making for the burst of color that is inevitable. Now, in case I hadn’t noticed, the bees herald the news of this change with the only means they have available—their presence and the song of their wings.
What about people? Can we know what’s going on inside them by the sounds coming from their vicinity? What does it mean to hear the giggles and squeals of a group of children gathered around an aged grandfather who’s giving piggy back rides at a family reunion in the park? Do we hear kindness and love? Acceptance?
There are many clues to the mystery of a person’s heart— who they are and who they are becoming.. Some are visual, some are not. The question is, will we take the time to look into another’s life, or perhaps even listen for the “hum” beneath the branches of their soul?