Friday, January 30, 2009


Trees are earthbound witnesses. They wear the scars of every storm, every fire, every drought, and every year of abundant rain. They also humbly wear the scars of men and animals as if they were trophies of grace.

Trees declare the warmth of every sunny day and the cold of every snow-swept winter. They display the colors of change for everyone to see, and herald, sometimes with bright flowers, the coming new life of spring.

They are silent witnesses, not casting judgment, but unafraid to declare what they cannot deny. Their roots are familiar with ancient things. Their limbs and leaves ring with the laughs of children, the kisses of lovers, and with the sobs of old men.

Though they never raise in protest a voice that men can hear, when cut down, they continue to witness faithfully and loudly both to the skill and to the finiteness of mankind.

We sit on them, write on them, sleep on them, put volumes of our knowledge on them, and seek shelter under them. Trees are without prejudice, friends to every man. There is not one of them that will raise itself in war against him or against his neighbor.

When burned, they testify to the warmth of their Maker. When formed and fashioned by the hands of men, they testify with a sweet fragrance to God's strength and beauty. By their fruit the savor of God's love for mankind is unmistakable. When barren, the earth beside them mourns.

If you see a tree as a witness of God's glory whose voice can reach beyond your own generation, or even beyond that of your children's children, you will not hasten to cut it down except in the most dire or noble of pursuits.

Trees, planted to declare the glory of heaven to men, are earthbound witnesses of our compassion, of our faith, of our steadfastness, and also of our cruelty. Perhaps that is why God chose to display His love on a tree, so that we would never forget the beauty of His steadfast love or our desperate need for His redemption.

Michael Hennen

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