The Tree I Love – Joy DeKok
Genesis 1:1 (ESV)
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.
To Revelation 4:11 (ESV)
“Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will, they existed and were created.”
Yes – I love a tree. I like many of the trees in our woods, but this one holds a place in my heart.
To be clear: I do NOT worship the tree, nor is it an altar of some kind in our woods. It’s a tree and, as such, is incapable of loving me back. I do not talk to the tree, and I don’t hug it, although I put the palms of my hands on its bark. I touch many of the things I find on my wanderings. The day I intentionally touched the nettles was not this kind of day! But the day I touched the bee was so cool!
The other day, on my way to the tree I love, I was distracted by loveliness along the way – a normal occurrence for me.
There was the surprise of moss on November 7.
And fallen leaves that fell from the broad branches of the oak I love.
In a tree no longer flourishing, I found this tiny dining room. The doorway is about the size of my hand, and space is no deeper than my cupped hand. Perhaps it’s the space of a red squirrel or chipmunk. I had never seen these little nuts – I think they are wild wood hazelnuts. A treasure trove!
When I got to the tree I love, more moss growing on the rugged bark snagged my focus.
For years I drove by the tree. I saw it and was impressed by the far-reaching branches, solid trunk, and rugged bark as I admired it from afar. Getting to it on foot meant – finding my way through thick underbrush, tangled vines, saplings in tight groups, and blackcap raspberry bushes whose thorns can cut through a tee-shirt sleeve and draw blood.
Unknown to me, the tree had Jon’s attention too. This summer, he took his chain saw out there and cleared a path to and around the tree. I married a man who, without knowing I wished I could get closer to that tree, knew I would love that space, and he did something about it.
Today, standing beneath the outstretched and mostly bare branches, I thanked the Creator for Jon, the oak, and all the beauty on the way. I marveled at how the woods slowed the wind to a gentle breeze, which led me to be glad for the wind even if it might be blowing winter our way. That led me to be grateful for the scent of the earth and the song of the chickadees flittering from bush to bush as I explored their territory.
And so on. One thing always leads to another.
I looked at the sky through the branches and pondered the acorn that was somehow pushed into the ground in the spot dozens of years ago seen only by God. Then, how with the help of the sunshine and water He sent, it sprouted and took root and grew.
God had plans for the big oak. He put it there to provide food and shelter for the wild ones for a hundred years or so. And then, on one beautiful November day, He knew I would stand under its outstretched beauty and worship Him.
Oh, the wonderful mysteries of God!
Until Next Time