Thought for the Month, Rev.Ken Stokes

The Circuit Steward said the manse had a problem oak tree in the garden. Its roots disturb the boundary wall. Its leaves are falling on the roof, both feeding annoying moss and blocking the guttering. She said the tree needs to be removed. Given the problems she is undoubtedly right. In the car on the way home one of my passengers said “Trees in the wrong place can be trouble”. She was right too. And yet… a bit of me is uneasy about removing trees. I like that wonderful image of the tree of life in the book of Revelation Chapter 22. The tree whose leaves are for “the healing of the nations”. I think all trees have a healing quality. They heal our ravaged earth. They bind the soil which we might otherwise turn to dust by too intensive farming. They suck CO2 we create out of the atmosphere. They often support an entire ecosystem of lichens, mosses, insects, small animals, and birds. My autistic son likes trees; he doesn’t know why. I think it is because they are calming, their green leaves sooth his soul just as the green room in a theatre will calm actors prior to them stepping onto a stage. So, my proposal for the next Circuit meeting is that we should commit to replace any tree that we ever have to remove by planting at least two more. Of course, we should plant them somewhere that is appropriate (not next to a wall or a building). Some where they can get on with the business, we desperately need them to engage with, of being our world’s God-given healers.