Once upon a time there was a man who was alive.

Location: Hattiesburg, Mississippi, United States
St. Cuthbert and Disciples in a Boat


{Thoughts While Climbing A Tree}

A tree is poetical. GK Chesterton, I believe it was, spoke of the intense poetry of “common” things- and while perhaps it is unfair to group things in estimation of their poetic quality, I must say that a tree is sheer poetry: beauty and wonder thrown skyward in the subtlest expression of fixed-form life on earth. But it is more than merely poetical- there is far more to see in a tree, to hear, than its poetry- though, perhaps, the poetry is made also through the truth revealed in a tree.

But I should not say a tree when I have a particular one in mind. It is the loveliest tree that I have seen in many a long day. An elm, it stands not far-off from my house, at the edge of a rolling field- the grasses lap right to its feet. I found it to-day, and climbed upon to a low-lying limb. So it is this particular tree I have in mind when I speak.

I speak- my words are fragments, broken pieces, scattered and gathered and reamed to form the elements of a spoken language. But I also possess an unspoken langauge, the yearnings and speakings of my soul- those I cannot express fully through my spoken language, through the words of my thought. And there is Word that exceeds all my words, my cobbled attempts at thought and expression. A tree is an expression of this Word, and in a tree we see a glimpse of this Word. It is Word incarnate and revealed: for Christ is the Word, and by His Word all that is, is. “The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of His being, sustaining all things by His powerful word.” {Hebrews 1:3}

Now might I described a tree with my broken words? I might ply numerous words. Continuity is a good one. A tree is continuous, from its deep delving roots up through its great gray, strong bore, from which it throws out its branches, swelling down in great sweeps and arches, then its limbs and twigs, lithe and slender, some strong and sinuous, others threaded out and light on the wind, and to the leaves, shimmering green and gold leaves hanging down and catching the quaverings of the wind’s breath, and grasping and gelding the light. It has no breaks, it all flows from root to leaf. For its existence is rooted, exists, in Word- His mighty Word that holds all- from tree to bower to blade of grass to us. And the life that a tree has comes from God, “who gives life to everything”. It drinks deep with its roots, and its leaves quake and tremble in the wind, and soak in the sunlight- a living poem. The light that showers over a tree and that is gathered into its leaves comes from God, who is “the Father of heavenly lights”. Being, life, light, all cry out speaking of Him, for from Him and through Him they are. By Him are we sustained also: “The Sovereign LORD has given me an instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being taught.” {Isaiah 50:4} Ah, soul rejoice in Him- He brings fullness, for only He is perfect. My word can not keep anything in existence- only His. My tongue is sorely limited in its capacity and span- but the Word, He encompases the universe, from the furthest star to the gold-green leaves on an elm tree.


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