I wouldn’t normally share a story of revenge as part of an e-votional, but I read a story this week that I had to share. If we can get past the revenge aspect, it has a deeper message for us. An arborist in Redondo Beach, California had a 30 year old pepper tree that he loved. Unfortunately, the trees roots grew to the point that it started to crack the sidewalk in front of his house. The city forced him to cut down his tree at his own expense. He wrote that the tree, which he had named Clyde, felt like a child to him. For revenge, he planted 45 Redwoods and 82 Giant Sequoias in various parks, yards, and state properties around the cities. These trees can live up to 2,500 years. They were planted three years ago, and already the root system will have grown 30 feet in diameter and be deeply embedded in the ground, making them difficult and costly to remove.
The message we can draw from this isn’t one of revenge. Instead, it comes from the idea of the 45 Redwoods and the 82 Sequoias carrying on the legacy of the Pepper Tree that was cut down. This reminded me of our relationship with Jesus. Jesus was crucified, was cut down. Unlike the Clyde, the tree, he rose from the grave. He then ascended into Haven and was no longer on the Earth. That doesn’t mean that his work on Earth was done. Instead he left us, the Redwoods and Sequoias, to continue his work, to continue his legacy. Like the trees, if we let the roots of our faith dig deep and wide, the work we do, the mission of Jesus Christ, will last long after we are gone!
Galatians 2:20 “It is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”