Selfless love… absolutely selfless.
No bounds, no chains…
Just the free-form standing branches of a tree that loved a boy.
“Climb me” calls the tree, branches open, leaves like fingers. “Swing from my branches, boy. Be happy.”
And the boy does.
And the boy is.
Time passes. The boy no longer interested in swinging from free-form branches or eating red apples on a low lying limb.
Selfishly the teenage boy comes to his old friend. “I’m too big for swinging on your branches, tree. You have nothing I need. Do you have money? Money will make me very happy!”
It just so happens the tree has something similar. “Here take my apples!” the tree says eagerly. “Sell them. They will give you money and then I will be happy too.”
Sadly, the boy takes the apples and soon forgets the tree who loves him so much he never stops to feel rejected.
Years pass… a boy-man returns.
“I need a home,” he says. “Then take my branches.” whispers the tree with a smile only a tree can have. “They will make a wonderful house for you.”
More time passes and life is harder than he ever suspected. All the man-boy wants now is a boat to get a break! So the tree offers his trunk. “Sail away! Be happy!”
A broken, defeated tree watches as the man-boy takes from him… One. Last. Time.
Alone… utterly alone.
Completely broken down for a man-boy who didn’t care…
The tree stands a lonely stump.
Then one day a weary old familiar face approcahes. The tree would know it anywhere. “I’m so happy to see you!” says the tree. “You took my apples and my branches. My limbs and my trunk I’ve nothing else to give you. I’m just an old broke down trunk.”
The old man smiles a familiar smile, one reminiscent of climbing on trunks and swinging on free form branches and says…
“Trunks make a fine place to rest.”
And the tree was happy.
The Giving Tree broke itself down to lift the boy up and that’s exactly what God did for us. It was no coincidence that His son was a carpenter.
He would chop the tree.
He would choose the nails. On a tree He would bear the weight on a broken body. He would give His life…
All so we might live.
All so we might live to the fullest.
All so we might be healed – the form? His choosing.
All so we might have peace, contentment, joy, purpose… understanding.
Jesus was broken… His Body the bread. His clothes divided. His flesh wounded … for our transgressions.
It’s not God’s will that we should be broken too, divided or wounded. That’s what the tree was for. It was God’s very own giving tree, complete with the Fruit of the Spirit, the shelter of His wings, an opportunity to get out of the boat and walk on water… a place to find rest.