27 April 2008
the legend of the dogwood~
I always have a hard time deciding which I like more, the Spring or the Fall. This year I am having a more pronounced appreciation for new life and new beginnings and new fruit and new growth, that I am just really, really appreciative of Spring. One of my favorite things are Dogwood Trees. We have this lovely dogwood right in the middle of our driveway. I remember hearing when I was younger about the legend of the dogwood. While I don't necessarily believe the legend, I love that God created a tree that points to what Jesus did for us. I believe that all of creation points to our Creator, and there is so much really, really interesting information to be found about that, but the dogwood to me is especially obvious.
First of all, it blooms right around Easter. The petals are cross shaped, the center is said to represent the crown of thorns, and the edges are stained with rust and red reminding us of the nails and Jesus' blood. While that in itself is pretty amazing, for the first time this year I felt the Lord pointed out to me a really neat way of explaining it to our children.
We drive a lot on what we call "the backroads." It takes us 15-20 minutes to reach a main road. In between us and the main roads are mostly very winding roads. One way out takes us through a valley, the other way out takes us first up, then back down a "mountain." The mountain road is forested for a portion of the way, and this year my eyes were really opened to all the dogwood trees. While everything around is still dead, the dogwood comes back to life. In the midst of all the deadness, the dogwood blooms first. As we're driving, we see this new life everywhere. There are so many dogwood trees interspersed among the others. They are everywhere! I never made this association before this year. I've never noticed before. I pointed this out to the kids by telling them, "Isn't it so cool that the dogwood is a picture of Jesus, and God is reminding us and showing us that Jesus brings life out of death by having the dogwood come "back to life" before all the other trees? Not only does Jesus' rising from the dead first allow us to be resurrected, but God reminds us by giving us a picture. And He makes it obvious by having these beautiful white trees bloom first while everything around them is still dead." I must say, they thought it was pretty cool.
"How can it be a large career to tell other people’s children about arithmetic, and a small career to tell one’s own children about the universe? How can it be broad to be the same thing to everyone, and narrow to be everything to someone? No; a woman’s function is laborious, but because it is gigantic, not because it is minute. I will pity Mrs. Jones for the hugeness of her task; I will never pity her for its smallness." ~GK Chesterton
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