By DEREK RUMBOL
Tuesday 28 July 2020
We escaped lockdown for an hour to walk in Burnt Stump Park off the A60 passing with longing the pub/restaurant now no longer serving delicious meals! That day will return.
We took the longer path around the park, being refreshed by the cool air, bathed in the beauty of ancient woodland. A couple walking their dog stopped to chat … at safe distancing! They pointed to a magnificent sturdy tree with inviting branches … "that's where our grandchildren make for, to climb, when they visit" they said and added "being amongst those trees is good for the soul."
We have all noted with horror the potential destruction of the Amazonian rainforest by commercial logging companies. And on my last visit to the Congo I witnessed the same thing taking place.
So it was with interest that a verse from a Bible reading stood out for me. Deuteronomy 20:19,20 "do not destroy the trees"! I do not recall ever having
read those verses before although I must have done. But they jumped out at
me. You can read the context in your own time but it reminded me that:
We all need trees
They clean our air, cool our cities, enrich our lives
They provide a home and food to many insects, animals and birds
They are under threat from developers, climate change and disease
Our woods and trees are vital for our health and well-being
So we ask ourselves these questions:
1. Do the visions of Ezekiel 47:12 and Revelation 22:2 represent spiritual realities only (leaves of the tree for the healing of the nations) ?
2. Do we ask what are the practical implications for the life of our planet they point to?
Or are both questions important and relevant?
And Isaiah 55:12 is true! Just watch the trees of the field clapping their hands when we go out with joy and are led forth in peace!