The past is not a package one can lay away.
~ Emily Dickinson
16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teach and admonish one another in all wisdom, and sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
~ Colossians 3:16
The story of the tree.
There were many quotes about the past, but the one that held me was Emily Dickinson’s. The first image that I thought of when I read this was an uprooted tree. The tree pictured above was a 70 year old sycamore that fell as a result of the debris from the Twin Towers. The way that the tree fell, preserved not only the historic cemetery, but the church itself from being further damaged.
Artist Steve Tobin saw this as an opportunity to make a statement. When you think about it, most folks treat roots as something that should be unseen, colored over, not spoken about, removed. Some folks like to call attention to just who is in their family tree, and others change their names.
We are in a unique situation. We are encouraged to look at our roots, biblically. The lineage of Jesus is traced with great care, and we are included as we accept Him and all that He stands for. We can look back at our roots, walk among them, learn from them. Steve Tobin made the sculpture above to celebrate the roots that protected a grand structure (the oldest building in continuous use in Manhattan,) from debris. The trunk was also cast preserved.
Tobin wanted to ” bring light to the unseen.” As we take a look at our past, there is much to learn, to celebrate, to take in. And if we don’t dwell there, and appreciate who we are in its light, we can be saved from foolish moves, unwise decisions, and we can grow.
After Super Storm Sandy hit the Northeast last year, I had great opportunity to study roots. Treasures were caught in them, junk, trash, and even flower bulbs, the remains of beloved pets. I photograph overturned trees often.
Today, as we are hit with Boreas, take the chance to reflect on your own roots, and know that like that tree planted by the water, you will not be moved, for your roots are in Jesus Christ. Even if your tree is overturned, your roots will show just where you come from. The tree of Jesse!
Because of Him,