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Posts Tagged ‘trees’

In September of 2013, I published a post entitled  “Let us be Redwoods” . Please take a moment to click on it and then come on back, ok?  I’ll wait here for you….

….Okay – ready?   Thanks.

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scientists-redwood-nichols_52779_990x742Last week, 2 1/2 years after the original post, I reposted it? Why you may ask?

Good question – it’s one  I asked myself while doing it without really knowing the answer.

“Why am I resending this?”

For some reason I felt a strong pull inside telling me to repost it. It literally, popped into my head to do it. Weird.

In addition to that, for the last few weeks the ‘Shema‘ has been on my mind.

“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up…”  Deuteronomy 6:4-8

Yesterday, I think I heard the answer.

“ONE” was the message spoken by my pastor this morning. He quoted the opening of the ‘Shema’ and also these words prayed by Jesus:

“I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word;  that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.  John 20:20-21

Th mighty oak is a strong and powerful tree. It’s roots burrow deep into the ground – 30, 40 even 50 feet down in the earth, grabbing firm in a death-defying life grip. When the storms come, with the turbulence, the assault and the violence, they bend, twist, crack and snap in the raging, swirling winds.

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And though they are mighty and stong, the tree can break free from its grip on the earth, and slowly, steadedly pull up and away from the deep roots, tearing up the ground, cracking, ripping, smashing –  crashing  to the forest floor in a hunderous explosion of  brokenness, destruction and death.

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Do you know how high 300 feet is straight up?  It’s a football field stood on end.

The Statue of Liberty is 305 feet high.

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How high is The Leaning Tower of Pisa?                        The Capitol Building?                    The Tower of Big Ben?

Redwood trees grows to heights greater than 300 feet – exceeding 360 and 370. Imagine a single tree towering over our Lady of Liberty!  Here – take a look…

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If we were to design such a tree, our ‘educated’, logical, scientific brains would think that we drive the roots of the Redwood down into the bowels of the earth itself in order to keep it standing during the storms (storms? just sheer weight and gravity should make it topple over like a top!).  But, as we know – that is not the case. Their roots are only two to three feet deep!  Can you imagine a 370 foot tree being supported and held up by 3 feet of roots? It defies logic – science and engineering. Think if the Leaning Tower of Pisa only had a two foot foundation!

The Redwood Tree is not only an amazing example of God’s creative genius and power, but it’s the revealed answer to God’s riddle of “ONE”!

“No way” – you say. In the forest there are many redwood trees and each are individual, stand alone trees. “Ain’t no riddle there mister, sorry  don’t see the connection  fella.

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Oh, but our eyes only see on the surface – it’s under the surface that we find the answer to the Redwood’s success – and it’s there where we find the  “ONE”.

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Yes – there are many Redwood trees – that’s the beauty of it – they survive.  Many trees – and each is an individual – each tall, straight and strong. Each having its own root system. It’s shallow, to be sure – only digging 2 to 3 feet into the earth – but those roots spread out – interwine – connect – even fuse with the roots of its neighbor – forming – you guessed it –  “ONE”  unified, solid community foundation where “ONE” supports “ALL” and “ALL” supports “ONE”.

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When the storm rages against any single tree – it’s raging against the community – against a unified mat that withstands and defeats any and all storms. God’s love is the sap that fuses the roots together!

And here’s another thought to chew on:   High above – overhead in the sky – the redwoods form a protective canopy – a covering – that shelters the oak, the pine, the hemlock and the beech tree – providing them cover from the storm. Think of those trees with the deep roots – that are looked to for their fruit – (our pastors and leaders) – they have refuge and shelter under the canopy of the shallow rooted redwoods (the flock)!

Scripture tells us to be “rooted” in the word and to “love” one another with the “love of God”. That “love” is the ‘sap’ that flows through the roots, fusing and joining together all the community of God.

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What a marvelous mystery God has given us!

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Until Next time – Embrace your Bridges – for they define who you are.

 

 

 

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The glory and splendor of a tree is an awesome sight.

You know what I’m saying. We’ve all been there, standing in awe, gazing up, marveling upon a tall, straight, full tree as it sways in the breeze, gently singing its soothing song of peace and goodness to the land. The creatures of the earth and birds of all sizes, designs and colors finding refuge in its thick, life-sustaining foliage.

We look upon the Maple – the Beech – the Sycamore and the mighty Oak as they rise upwards – 60 – 80 – even a hundred feet towards the light, and we marvel at their strength and beauty.  They stand firm and steady against the winds, rains and hails that batter them. Their roots go down deep into the ground, 20 -40 even 80 feet to anchor them securely to the earth, holding them tight against the storms of life.

They stand alone – firmly and confidently.

But, even with such strength and depth, sometimes, under the power of the assault, they bend and give – their roots slowly breaking apart from the earth and when the storm blows hard, even those deep roots cannot bear the strain and they pull up from the earth and a mighty tree falls, crashing to the ground in a loud, agonizing roar of despair. And the world groans.

mondaymeme2013-09-09Towering above all other trees, straight and majestic, rise the  Sequoia Redwoods.  They stretch upwards, reaching high into the heavens. Not 80, not a 100, not even 200 feet, but over 300 feet they rise! Greater than the length of a football field! Imagine laying a single tree across the entire length of the Super Bowl and then raising it up to reach into the sky.

Some reach into the heavens taller than the Statue of Liberty, exceeding heights of 375 feet. They obtain massive circumferences with diameters in excess of twenty feet;  laden with heavy, coarse bark 20 inches thick that defies modern engineering by miraculously pumping over 250 gallons of water a day upwards into the heights to feed its rich foliage in the heavens.

Not only are they the tallest trees in the world – they are the largest living things in the world, and they live for hundreds – even thousands of years.

When the storms come, they are the first and the last to be battered. Rising above all those below, they receive the strongest attack – feel the harshest assault as the winds and gales toss and rip at their crowning heads, bending them to the power of their might. Smaller trees, far below, bend, crack, snap and break, pulling out from the earth, not able to withstand the rage and fury of the storm.

When the storm subsides – the Redwood stands firm and proud, rejoicing in its glory.

How?

Why does this giant of the earth not succumb to the storm?

How does it remain standing two – three – even four times taller than those that could not bear the storm’s fury?

The answer can only lie in its roots – which must go deeper into the earth than all the other trees. Ah! There is a lesson for us here! In order to become strong we must reach deep into the earth, clinging hard to withstand the storms of this world.

But – upon examination – we are in awe – we are dumbfounded – we are aghast!

The roots only go into the earth four – five – six feet. They are shallow – This massive monster of nature, towering over 300 feet and weighting over 3,000,000 pounds – is anchored to the earth by a mere five feet! How can this be? It defies logic – physics – engineering – and life as we understand it.

What is its secret to survival and majesty?

So we look closer and we find the secret – it was there all along.

The roots, although not deep, spread out hundreds of feet around the tree. They intertwine, tangle, knot and lock with the roots of the other trees around it, that are doing the same thing, until for miles it’s a single woven mat of thick, living roots. They support and hold one another firmly in place. If one weakens, the others grab and lock themselves around it to hold it and keep it upright.

But there’s more. The roots actually begin fusing together, forming common roots that share, feed and give life to one another.

Once established – the Redwood tree is not solitary – stand-alone but is part of a community – united – bound together – supporting and sustaining one another. Only internal decay within a tree can destroy it.

I wonder – what would our world be like – if we were Redwoods?

Until Next Time:

Embrace Life’s Bridges – For they Define Who You Are

DK LeVick

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Silently the moon hides, the earth is black.

So black you cannot see the hand held in front of your face. The sky opens and the moon winks from behind the clouds offering you the silhouettes of the trees.

The moon likes playing with the earth.

The ground is cold and damp but warms quickly from your body as you sit on a cushion of leaves and dew-laden grass. The crisp pungent odor of earth mingled with fallen leaves rises from the ground – the perfume of the forest.  You breathe in, pulling the fragrance deep into your soul. It mixes with your blood, flows through your body filling it with the essence of earth. “From dust you came and to dust shall you return“. You merge with the forest.

You are alive. The forest knows you and it welcomes you.

(more…)

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