There’s a fold-out in a recent magazine, but this is a fold-out with a difference. Most fold-outs are one…maybe two…extra widths of paper. This fold-out is the longest fold-out I’ve ever seen.
In its September 2009 issue, National Geographic Magazine connects fold-outs of FIVE page-widths to show a single thing…one huge redwood tree.
Can you imagine a tiny seed taking root and beginning to grow here in America at the same time Jesus was being born in Bethlehem? Some redwoods are that old.
Imagine how, as the tiny seedling sprouted, Jesus was a child in Nazareth. The tree was probably about 35 feet tall, during Jesus’ Galilean ministry when he amazed listeners with his revolutionary summation of all the commandments:
“Love the Lord thy God with all your heart and soul and mind.
And the second like unto it…
Love your neighbor as yourself”
Decades passed. Jesus’ message spread through many towns and even countries, blessing people’s lives, guiding them. The redwood grew straight and very wide.
Centuries and more centuries passed. Jesus’ message spread throughout the entire planet. The redwood tree…once just a tiny seed…grew wider than other trees and taller. It grew 100 feet, then 200 feet, then over 300 feet…taller than an entire football field is long.
Great winds came and beat upon the redwood tree, as it bent and lost some branches. But it didn’t fall. Drought came and the trees’ needles turned brown. But it lived, and birds flitting among its branches, and animals nesting beneath it, and fish swimming in the stream below were grateful for the food it provided, and a home for their babies.
Floods came and washed the soil away. The redwood sank its roots deeper. Fires came and went and burned the tree severely. But it sprouted new life, blessing the people who were grateful for the shade beneath it, and for the inspiration rising in their hearts as they raised their eyes up to its majestic branches.
Today, the redwoods are among the only living things that were here in Jesus’ day.
Floods, drought, fire, and wind have not destroyed the mighty redwood. Neither have wars, lies, corruption, scandal, and hypocrisy killed Jesus’ message: “Love God with all your heart and soul and mind. Love your neighbor as yourself.”
I must do my part to save the redwoods. There is so much God wants me to learn from them.
Feel free to email me your environmental tips and questions!