Tale Of Three Trees
Upon a green Judean hill
forest stood - majestic!
Open to the wind and rain
By God alone protected.
"What will you be, my little tree?"
The mother tree inquired.
"A cradle for a wee baby,"
And he smiled a quaint tree smile.
"And you, my child, what is your dream?"
The mother tree continued.
"A gallant ship with white sails lit
And a King upon my venue!"
"My quiet leaves, what hope is yours?"
The mother asked her last one.
"To stand all day and point the way
That men may find our God, Mom."
And so, upon the hill they stood,
While sun and storms assailed them
Strong and tall they grew in size -
One day men came to fell them.
With a rustling sigh the first tree fell;
Itís limbs were stripped and numbered;
manger in a stable-barn
They built with its good lumber.
And God, Who loves the little trees,
Whispered, "Oh, be cheerful -
For patience is rewarded well."
Still the little tree was tearful.
"My dream is lost! My hope is past!"
The little tree lamented.
But one starry night in Bethlehem
baby was presented.
And oh! The purest loving joy
Engulfed the small tree-manger;
He knew Who he cradled in his arms -
(Though to the world a stranger.)
Men came again and took a tree;
They drug it to the seashore.
crude, plain fishing boat they made...
It knew Ďtwould never be more.
"Iíve lived in vain! My fondest hope
Is lost now and forever!"
The little tree in sorrow sailed -
Itís dream so cruelly severed.
But God, Who loves the little trees,
And knows their fondest wishes,
Said, "Oh, have faith, your hold wonít be
Forever filled with fishes!"
One day a Special Man came by -
crowd of people followed.
They pressed Him ever close to hear
His words, precious and hallowed.
He stepped into the tiny boat
And taught the people saying:
"Seek not the riches of this world -
Where is your treasure laying?"
And the second tree knew on itís deck
The Son of God stood teaching!
No greater royalty heíd hold -
No greater truths men reaching!
And out up hillside green,
When Spring again was bursting,
The third tree stood majestically
Saying to all men thirsting:
"I point to God, Who cares for all -
Whoís sending you a Savior!
And this my faithful servitude -
Iíll point to God forever!"
Then came the rough and scornful men
With axes swinging wildly!
Into the third trees heavy bark
The sunk the blades, not mildly!
"Oh! This can never, never be!"
He cried in silent sorrow.
"Father, how shall I point to You
For those who come tomorrow?"
With angry hand the tools employed
And tore away his branches;
Hauled into Jerusalem he lay
And God, Who loved this little tree
Looked down in sorrow, knowing.
He whispered, "Sweet peace," even then -
When both their tears were showing.
Into a cruel, ugly cross
The little tree was fashioned;
And nails were driven through the hands
Of Someone hung with passion.
jeering mob, a Saviorís blood;
motherís heart was broken...
The earthquake and the thunderings -
final word was spoken.
Laid vainly in a borrowed tomb,
Godís Son had made the purchase;
Freely laying down His life -
Fulfilling Heavenís purpose.
brutal and a blood-stained cross
That lifted high the Savior,
Became a precious emblem that
Each one of us holds dearer.
No other tree is so revered
No other so endearing
No other tree has shown the way
To millions - now God - fearing.
....Upon a green Judean hill,
forest stands now praising
God whose loving sacrifice
Shows only grace amazing!
Joan Clifton Costner
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