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Mike Royko writes about a conversation he had with Slats Grobnik, a man who sold Christmas trees. Slats remembered one couple on the hunt for a Christmas tree. They were obviously poor. After finding only trees that were too expensive, they found a Scotch pine that was okay on one side, but pretty bare on the other. Then they picked up another tree that was not much better—-full on one side, scraggly on the other. She whispered something, and he asked if $3 would be okay. Slats figured both trees would not be sold, so he agreed.

A few days later Slats was walking down the street and saw a beautiful tree in the couple's apartment. It was thick and well rounded. He knocked on their door and they told him how they worked the two trees close together where the branches were thin. Then they tied the trunks together. The branches overlapped and formed a tree so thick you couldn't see the wire. Slats described it as "a tiny forest of its own."

"So that's the secret," Slats asserts. "You take two trees that aren't perfect, that have flaws. They might even be homely, ones that maybe nobody else would want. If you put them together just right, you can come up with something really beautiful."*

That the way God works in the church too; He takes imperfect people – perfectly places His gifts in their lives, and watches over the development to bring about His perfect result.


SOURCE: Mike Royko, One More Time (University of Chicago Press, 1999), pp. 85-87; on

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