Whenever I read, or hear a story about a tree, the closing line of Joyce Kilmer’s Trees comes to mind. I was compelled in the third grade to learn and quote the entire poem, with emphasis. I’m sure you recall at least some of the poem. Mr. Kilmer was quite the character.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.
A story recounted in the Worthy Brief set me to thinking all sorts of things about trees. George Worthy tells the following about a great Southern Hero:
“After the Civil War, Robert E. Lee visited a Kentucky lady who took him to the remains of a once beautiful old tree in front of her house. There she bitterly cried that its limbs and trunk had been destroyed by Federal artillery fire. She looked to Lee for a word condemning the North or at least sympathizing with her loss. After a brief silence, Lee said, ‘Cut it down, my dear Madam, and forget it.’” Worthy Brief 02 19 13
We Christians must learn the value of “cutting down” the reminders of hurtful events and people from yesterday through the grace of our Lord Jesus. We tend to do the opposite, and raise memorials to the pain, instead of forgetting it.
We can choose to look at and nurture yesterday’s ruins, or cut them down through forgiveness and get on with living for Jesus. Today.
Copyright © 2013 Larry Lilly