Inscribed in the Palms of His Hands

Image by Lisa Johnson from Pixabay

Have you ever been tempted to carve initials or names in the trunk of a tree?

Perhaps linking yours with those of someone you love, like “M + F” or “Josh loves Amanda”? The inscriptions could last for centuries, emblems immortalizing your love for generations to come.

(Of course, as a nature lover, I’d rather people not make carvings in the bark of a living tree. But I can understand the impulse to do so.)

In fact, people have been engraving things on tree trunks for millennia.

Birch trees are a natural choice due to their white bark. The smooth silver-grey bark of beech trees is also a magnet for trunk-carvers. Indo-European peoples have used it for writing-related purposes since antiquity. In some modern European languages, the words for “book” and “beech” are either very close or identical. No wonder the beech has been called the “patron tree” (sort of like a patron saint) of writers.

Did you know that God sometimes inscribes things in usual places, too?

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Turn Over A New Leaf!

Image by Websi from Pixabay

If you live in an region where the trees drop their leaves in the fall, you’ll have noticed something.

Some species of trees are quick to cast off their leaves once the weather turns colder. In my area, the mountain ash trees are always the first to be denuded of leaves in October.

Other trees seem more reluctant to give up their leafy attire, holding on stubbornly until the frost and the wind finally make them release their grip. In my backyard, an old sugar maple is usually the laggard.

The most notorious holdouts, however, are immature beech trees. They retain their dried leaves through the whole winter, only dropping them when the new growth of spring finally forces the old leaves off the branches.

We can be a bit like young beech trees, too, I think.

We may hold on too long to something that isn’t working, despite evidence that we should let it go.

Or we may cling to a dream that is clearly unrealistic, even though God is trying to nudge us in a different direction.

Sometimes God is telling us that it’s time to turn over a new leaf, so to speak. He wants us to cast off outmoded ways of thinking and let go of unproductive ways of doing things.

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