Trees that bend…

In the film my Big Fat Greek Wedding 3 a Greek family return from America to Greece to the place where their father used to live, to try and locate his three old friends. And during that time one of the family Nick is trying to find the oldest tree. He and his half-brother have a conversation about a quote which more or less says this: It’s better to be a tree that bends in the wind then one that breaks.
Now that’s an interesting quote about being flexible. It’s about being willing to give and take and listen and understand. There’s a lovely quote that Jesus used when he drew from the prophet Isaiah, chapter 42 and verse 3. ‘A bruised reed he will not break and a smouldering wick he will not snuff out.’ Jesus quoted this in Matthew 12 verse 20, about himself, that he would be a Messiah, a rescuer who would not break those reeds that were weak, those people who were struggling, who were overwhelmed, who were floundering. He had come to lift them up not to break them down.
There’s another thought about being flexible that Paul writes about in 1 Corinthians chapter 9 verse 19, about becoming all things to all people so that he might reach them with the good news of Jesus. In other words being flexible, and being prepared to adapt and listen. Not to compromise but being open to people. Not looking to judge them but looking to bring them the good news that is found in the welcome of Jesus, this rescuer who will not break a bruised reed.

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