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The Trinity Tree by Stuart Revercomb

“I will lift up my eyes to the mountains, from whence cometh my help . . .”  Psalm 121:1

This is one of my favorite scriptures for a couple of reasons: 1) It provides assurance of God’s comfort and help in times of trouble and 2) It speaks of mountains as somehow being part of that.  And I just love mountains – good things happen on mountains.

Being a son of both VA and WV, I think I’ve always had an appreciation of mountains. I remember going to the beach as a child and really loving it, but after a few days I felt this strange need to get on top of something – anything – even on top of our old Ford station wagon to take a look around.

As much as I loved the sand and the waves, by the next Saturday morning I was ready to get back home – where the  land was green and fresh and alive with streams and woods and heights from which one could take in the world. I am still that way to this day.

When my son Rob and I were going out to explore the woods and mountain on the land upon which we now live in order to consider making an offer on the property,  we immediately journeyed up the the mountainside and made a remarkable discovery.

There in the center of the ridgeline that makes a swale like a horse saddle across the skyline above the house, was a large outcrop of rock. Just on the backside of this outcrop, about 30 feet before the ridge began to roll back down the other side of the mountain, stood a nice size rock upon which a very tall mature tree appeared to be growing.

And indeed, a closer inspection revealed that it had pretty much done just that – save for a few main roots that it had managed to wrap around and down one side of the beautifully striated boulder upon which it had perched.

Over the years the increasing layers of bark had wrapped themselves around all but one side of the boulder that itself made a perfect seat back at the base of the tree.

As amazing as this was, it wasn’t the only unique thing about the tree, for it had, by virtue of being on the rock, grown up at an angle – and about 40 feet off the ground it intersected another tree of an entirely different species.

The two trees, by virtue of the one leaning so fully on the other, had quite literally grown together with a shared bark system that gave them a smooth and uniform skin where they were joined so high above the ground. Both trees then continue from this junction and end in impressive canopies that spread majestically above the forest floor.

Rob and I stood beneath the mysterious and uniquely beautiful sight and stared up in wonder.

“Wow,” he finally said in quiet understatement. “Have you ever seen anything like that before Dad?’

“No,” I replied, as my gaze followed the tree up again from the beautiful rock it held in the tight embrace of its roots. “That – Is – Just – Amazing . . .”

We stared at the scene for a minute or so – the woods quiet and true all around us. Finally Rob spoke up again.

“Dad,” he said, “I think I have this thing all figured out:  You see the tree is us . . . and we are to stand and grow ourselves upon the rock – and the rock, of course is Jesus . . . “

I turned to look at him with a raised eyebrow. That was pretty good. He stared upward a moment and then continued.  “Do you see how the tree grows up like that and joins that other tree above that helps  hold it up? Well that other tree there . . . That’s the Holy Spirit . . . (he had me totally enthralled now) and from there of course we grow . . . Up through the canopy seeking the light above – which is God of course . . .”

In that moment I was exceedingly grateful for the education he receives at Faith Christian School. In fact as far as I was concerned that little bit of theological thinking had just fully justified every dime of his tuition check.

“Rob,” I said . . . “That is absolutely beautiful . . . I can’t tell you how much that means to me . . .  I think we may have just found our new home . . .” And of course, we had.

Like I said – good things happen on mountains.

Stuart Revercomb is the Minister at Peace Presbyterian Church in Roanoke.

He may be contacted at 330-7335 or [email protected].

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