Hidden Treasure Inside a Chinese Bamboo Tree


We attended the Mass at 3:30pm today. The central message of the homily is on hope and patience. I’d like to share with you the message that I received from God through Fr. Jay David, SDB, Rector of Don Bosco Technical Institute in Tarlac City.

The only thing I knew about the bamboo tree is its resiliency. Time and time again, we’ve seen strong winds blowing a bamboo tree so strong, that it almost kisses the ground, only to see it standing right back to where it was before. Listening to Fr. David, I learned a new thing about this Chinese bamboo tree.

Chinese bamboo treeFr. David shared with us a story shared by a stock trader named Don Miller (whom he learned from Eric Aronson’s blog) in his blog. The article says that the Chinese bamboo tree has an extraordinary characteristic. While most trees we know grow at a steady rate, this Chinese bamboo tree has its own amazing growth rate, which makes it exceptional. In its first four years, nothing seems to happen to this Chinese bamboo tree physically. It appears as though it’s dead. It looks like it will never grow. But on its fifth year, that’s when the amazing thing happens. In a period of five weeks, it can grow at a height of at least 90 feet. I did the Math. That’s 0.05 centimeter per minute. Wooah! Isn’t that like a time-lapse photography right in front of you?

I agree with Fr. David when he said that we have some Chinese bamboo trees in life.

You’re a hardworking parent. You almost bend backward just so you can send your son or daughter to a good school. What do you get? Barely passed grades and disrespectful attitude.

You’re a loving wife. If the Catholic Church could only canonize living saints, you would have been the first. You speak with your husband as calm as you can be. What do you get? An ungentlemanly husband who shouts at you regardless if there are people hearing his loud voice or not.

You’re a kind son. You tun night into day. You work for a minimum of 15 hours a day just so you can earn enough to give your parents a taste of the good life they deserve. What do you get? A quarrelsome father who revives the courageous national heroes by always igniting a fight and misunderstanding with  the people in the neighborhood.

You keep on working. You keep on loving. You keep on being kind. It may look and feel like your efforts go in vain. But like the Chinese bamboo tree, the miracle that you’ve been waiting for is in its first four years. Your Chinese bamboo tree is building its strong root system that can carry the magnificence and the blessing that your miracle will bring.

Be hopeful. Be patient. Your fifth year is coming.

It’s only a matter of time and you’ll see your kids showing honor and respect like you’ve never seen and experienced before. You were crying because of their disrespectful behavior. You may cry again, but this time, it’s no longer a cry of stress but of gladness and joy. You’ve succeeded in pointing your kids to Jesus and in bringing Jesus to them through you. Good job, dear parents!

It’s only a matter of time and you’ll see your husband saying sorry for all the harsh words he had spoken to you. After 30 years, here he is again, with a dozen of red roses on one hand and a box of chocolates on the other. All of a sudden, you feel like a fourth year high school lass being serenaded by the campus’ crush. Your teenage kids saw what’s happening so they played the song with lyrics like this, “Muling ibalik ang tamis ng pag-ibig. Muling pagbigyan ang pusong nagmamahal….”

It’s only a matter of time and your father will realize how much he’s been loved by you. You have continued to love him. You have continued to show him respect even when what he has been doing is so uncalled for. Because you became the Jesus that he needs and because you marinated his heart with an unconditional love, you gave him no option but to love himself back and respect the people around him.

My friend, keep on hoping and being patient in the first four years of your Chinese bamboo tree. On your fifth year, you’ll reap more than what you can imagine. Be pruned by Jesus’ love-inspired growth period.

Jaycee De Guzman

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