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With God, mercy does grow on trees
pastor corner

Dr. Lawrence Butler

The Bridge Church, Pembroke

Trees. Trees. Trees. What fascinating objects! They just stand there, most of them quite beautiful and providing wonderful shade in the summer. And, oh, how much fun they provide for boys. They get houses built for them in those trees, they have swings hanging from them, and, yes, sometimes they get broken arms from them. Nevertheless, boys have a love affair with trees.

Five-year-olds also find unique ways to enjoy trees. Like the one growing in the yard of my kindergarten- first grade school. It wasn’t much of a tree, just a little scrubby, scrawny thing hanging out in the sun. However, it did have the promise of fun. I don’t remember how many times I had walked by it or played near it, but one day I saw the promise of a happy future provided by the scrawny thing. It suddenly became my friend. We were going to have fun that day, and probably for many more days to come. I went running towards it, launching myself into the air, flying like Tarzan through the trees. Clutching the limb which forked out from the trunk I began my swing through the heavens. I looked good. I was athletic, strong, and impressing all my friends with one gymnastic move in the schoolyard. Not an easy thing to do at any age. Just ask the Olympic Gold Medalists!

Suddenly my escapade through the air ended when the limb broke and I fell to the ground. My feelings weren’t the only ones hurt, apparently those of the principal were as well. She loved the tree as much as I did, although I no longer loved it since it let me down. When confrontation time arrived, she took me by the shoulders and shook me while my head bounced back and forth. I’ve never forgotten that day. I would love to say that I never again hung from a tree limb without calling her first to be sure it was ok, but that’s not true. As a five-year old I couldn’t think of anything to say. As an adult I would like to say something like, “Come on lady. Give me a break. I’m a kid. I didn’t know the stupid limb would break.” My Dad would most likely have had something to say to me then. We’ve all made mistakes in life. We didn’t realize the result would be so disastrous, but it was.  There is One who sees, understands and forgives.  He says, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”  He specializes in forgiveness and will not shake you so hard your head bounces.

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