Trees are holy, as all living things are holy. God made us all holy. Why don’t we ponder this more often? Does it hit too close to home? Is it too hard for us to fathom because of all the hatred and violence pelting us from media images we choose to watch, unable to turn away like an addict with their choice of drug?
When I was sixteen and wondering if anyone would ever love me (besides my parents and family), I wandered outside on a warm, cloudless night and stood beneath the moon full of my questions and loneliness. Needing consolation, I walked beneath the branches of a neighbor’s maple and hugged its trunk. I remember tears falling as I received something from that maple that I could not name. It felt good. It felt holy. I stood in that grace a long lonely time.
Trees stand as symbols of life and holiness, free of racism and prejudice. Their branches point skyward towards their Creator and hug the ground for He is there, too. They speak to me of God and grace, strength and perseverance, praise and humility every time I see one.
The tears in the eyes of an arborist hired by our townhouse association to survey our southern oaks made me see their crude amputations from past prunings with new insight. They live in their skins with dignity and calm. May we be open to the grace from God to do the same for as long as we live in our bodies.
Jesus instructed us to love one another as He loved us, unconditionally, with mercy and forgiveness and kindness. John 13:34.
Trees have no racism. I want to be like a tree.