Friday, September 27, 2013

The Parable of the Tree


My gaze was captured by a majestic tree growing in the midst of a glen. I was mesmerized by its beauty and awesome semblance of strength. Season after season I passed that way, if only to be inspired by the tree’s cathedral ambiance transferred onto its surroundings. Its kaleidoscope of color made life dance where motion would otherwise be absent. Season after season, the movement through the mysterious cycles of life and death seemed to transport me through the seasons of my own life. The tree was ever changing, moving, always greater than before.

Then a man with a need for wood took the tree’s life. The hands of the man were gifted and his eye true. From the offering of the tree a beautiful piece of furniture was fashioned. It happened that I was invited to view the piece. I stood amazed at the craftsmanship of the carpenter. How clever were the saw cuts and the hammer never left a track. The pegs were ever so strategically placed and the tongue and grove ever so tight. The dovetailing incomparable. The master craftsman had taken the tree from the glen and fashioned a thing of true beauty and utility. As admirable as the workmanship was, I remembered the tree when it grow in the glen, and was sad. It was alive then, ever changing, moving, always greater than before. 

I think the thing that was the source of my sadness is that even though the tree had become a thing of beauty and utility at the hands of man, it was no longer living, no longer changing, no longer moving, and could never be more than that made by the carpenter, forever frozen in the form of the carpenter's vision. It could no longer be greater than it was before.