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A Tree That Talks

As a rule, I drive past this tree twice a day on my way to and from work. Usually don’t even notice it. Just an pin oak full of dead leaves.

Yet it’s now the end of January, in the heart of winter,  long after those of us in West Michigan have finished our fall clean up of leaves.

But this oak tree just won’t give up its leaves. Bitter cold temperatures together with  storms and strong winds haven’t shaken them off.

If the pattern of past years hold true, this tree along with the rest of its family won’t drop their leaves until pushed from their branches by the new life of Spring.

Seems to me that, without even being aware of it,this tree exists to sing harmony with the ways and words of its Creator.

My thoughts go back to the prophet Isaiah who calls upon the trees to join all nature in singing and clapping their hands in the presence of the One who, alone,  can give new life to what He  has created and redeemed (Isa 44:23) (Isa 55:12).

Could that also be what is happening when we focus on the “oughts” and “shoulds” and “musts” of moral laws and commandments that expose the lingering “deadness” of our human nature? Does that have anything to do with why the Apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthians:

The letter kills, but the Spirit gives life” (2Cor 3:6)…  (2Cor 3:7-8); (2Cor 3:17-18)

PS after writing this I stopped by Wonder of Creation and found the Jan 25 thoughts of Dean Ohlman taking the music of nature far beyond what I’ve done here. In “The Vision of Narnia” he hears an inexpressible symphony and chorus.  Since I’m meeting him for coffee in a bit, am going to ask him more about that oak full of dead leaves.


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109 Responses to “A Tree That Talks”

  1. Bob in Cornwall England says:

    We also have trees like this and there is a type of bush used in hedging that also keeps its brown leave all winter, but I can’t remember it’s name.

    It struct me Mart that, when we are Baptised into Christ’s death and Born Again into His Resurrection Life, an awful lot of the “dead” self falls away, as with most leaves on trees.
    But there seems to be alot of dead debris left clinging on to us that only as we grow and the New Shoots of our Life in Jesus start to show through do these old dead Leaves of habbit and sin drop away.
    Once they are fallen off they can never be reatached and just rot away into nothing.
    Often though, we try to glue them back on and wonder why our new life is not as visible as it should be.


  • SFDBWV says:

    Sergeant Joyce Kilmer
    165th Infantry (69th New York) A.E.F.
    Born December 6, 1886, killed in action near Ourcy, July 30, 1918

    I think that I shall never see
    A poem lovely as a tree.

    A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
    Against the earth’s sweet flowering breast;

    A tree that looks at God all day,
    And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

    A tree that many in summer wear
    A nest of Robins in her hair;

    Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
    Who intimately lives with rain.

    Poems are made by fools like me,
    But only God can make a tree.