Lay author Jonathan Fleming shares his innermost thoughts through the gift of poetry
A Tree Reborn
I went walking in the woods and since my mind can’t seem to stay still it decided it was a good time to
start wondering too. Wandering to a sore spot of familiar insecurity, but it wrapped it in new imagery
that was drawn from the scenery that surrounded me: the trees.
God, I’m curious; in a time before all things, did you look into creation and recognize the tree that would
become the tool of so much of your suffering? I wonder, how did it make you feel? Like, I get that you
live in the land beyond anguish and pain, out on the shores free from the storms of sorrow and shame,
all wrapped up in that place beyond time and space. But the scriptures make it apparent that emotions
are not absent in you Oh Self-existent One so, I guess all of it just has me wondering what You must
have thought about when You saw that cypress tree whose destiny it was to become the crossbeam of
your cross. Did You sing as that seedling saw the sunlight for the very first time? As the branches
extended their reach in an outward expansion, while the trunk towered: a great display of its strength;
did You celebrate? Or, through foreknowledge, did You lament over its transformation through the
manipulation of its beauty into something that would eventually be so tormenting to You?
I guess I ask this because I see such a similarity between that tree and me.
As I look at the crucifixion, I am becoming keenly aware at my hand in all of this.
You planted me like a tree in that garden of solace and serenity; but just like Eve, my branches longed
for a fruit that I was never designed to produce. Sin from that corrupted stamen cross-pollinated with
the flowering beauty of the choices that should have been reserved for you. And from then, the fruit
that I consumed produces fruit according to its kind within this vine that was designed to intertwined
itself within that stable Tree of Life: Jesus Christ. Woe is me for I am a tree of unclean leaves and seeds.
The color of my canopy wanes drained into the production of the poisonous nectar contained in the
produce of my ill-fated attempt at self-produced purpose.
What am I to do with this? How can I be worth the price you paid to purchase me, saving me from the
fire that calls out for my dead and dying branches? How can this be the design you set in motion before
you told time to begin?
What does it mean to be replanted next to never-ending crystal streams after being the beam that You
hung from? How do I handle such violent mercy?
God, teach me to bury my roots deep into the finality of Your plan that was mapped out in the holes in
Your hands. Allow me to be content with allowing your wind to whisper the mystery to each leaf for all