Gnarled Old Tree
by Rev Cheryl Birch
I see tall trees before me
Standing sturdy, upright stalwart soldiers.
Many are straight and lift their branches high.
Some are curved from winds of gentleness.
Their bows are fully green and contrast with the sky.
They glisten in the sun and sometimes wave at me.
A bird has made its home among them
Nestled in the crook of a strong arm.
She sings a sweet sweet song.
How proud the trees look. How beautiful.
Such lovely shade they make.
But others lie upon the ground
Their branches broken.
Their sturdy frames shattered when they fell.
Creviced stumps mark the spot of former life
Like stones that mark a grave.
They look like scatter bones.
But, the tree that really caught my eye
Was one bent and gnarled by the heavy winds.
It had survived the elements. Its head bowed low.
Bowed down to the ground.
Many branches looked quite dead.
Yet, upon the side of this old tree
on which the sun still shines
Is a beautiful crown of prosperous life.
This tree bears more fruit than all the rest.
Around it are many seedlings, new and bright.
It’s home to squirrels and chirping birds.
Its strength is quite apparent; mighty tree
that still lives on and has become a shelter of the forest.
I look at the tall tall trees,
the new ones still growing
and the ones that have been laid to rest.
Of all the trees I’ve ever seen this bent one makes me the happiest.
It’s full of hope. It gives me strength and rest and gladness.
It reminds me of my walk with God. Times of glory. Times of windy strife.
As I bow low before His throne like this one, I know I will more than survive.
I will be a “gnarly tree,” a shelter of His healing and life.
copyright 2012 Cheryl S Birch
All Rights Reserved