The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
This was one of our sons’ favorite books.
We had a giving tree in our yard; I think maybe that’s why we liked it.
Our giving tree was a maple.
Andy and Matt would climb it; maple would give us shade for the kiddy pool and shade to sit under.
The trunk was big enough they could hind behind it.
Maples’ fallen braches would give us kindling for our wood burning fireplaces.
We would, gather Maples leaves in the fall, to make a pile to jump in.
And the tree was happy.
But time went by, our boys grew to young men, they no longer wanted to play under Maple.
We put a fountain and a park bench under Maple; we had our own little park.
And the tree was happy.
But time went by, and at about 50 years old, on the first day of summer 2013 in a wind storm, Maple came chasing down.
And yet, Maple lives on….
Giving us wood for our fireplaces, walking sticks and we still have her stump, waiting to be made into a coffee table and maybe a stool to sit on.
And the tree is happy.
When I was helping, in a English class, at Brooklyn Center high school. One of the young people asked me how much money I made doing this. I told her I’m a volunteer. She asked again, how much do you get to do this. I replied I don’t, I’m a volunteer, volunteers don’t make money. She answered back; well that’s dumb. I remember having the unfortunate thought that maybe her home life revolves around money.
You know what? It’s not dumb it’s being a giving tree.
We can all be giving trees,
When we give, of ourselves.
Give to an organization we feel strongly about.
Supporting Parkway, and helping with Parkway’s missions.
When you give to the food shelve you are feeding the hungry and maybe giving drink to 11 the thirsty.
Welcomed a stranger: helping or supporting, families moving forward.
Giving to our sock collection, or by putting winter mittens, and hats on our own giving tree, “the sharing tree”. You have clothed someone.
Maybe you have visited the sick or maybe just asked how are you doing. You are being a Giving Tree.
Maybe you didn’t visit someone in prison, or like me that’s not my thing, instead, maybe you said a prayer for someone you thought was in prison wrongfully. Let’s not forget praying for the children and families at the southern border.
“Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these, you did it to me.”
You are a Giving Tree
Jesus was the ultimate giving tree, giving of himself.
In a few minutes we will be sharing one of Jesus’ gifts, that of communion. Jesus: the giving tree.
In closing I would like to read again the poem that Phil shared with us.
The Green wood Chant:
Tell out, my soul,
What my eyes have seen
While the tree is strong
And the wood is green
When the tree grows old
And the wood is dry,
We will bow our heads
And we’ll raise our cry.
Yet we’ll hold the fire,
And we’ll hold the ash,
And we’ll hold your life
Till your sorrows pass.
And we’ll place the dust
In the fertile ground,
And we’ll wait to see
What comes around.