In which a tree falls in the forest

by Craig on June 29, 2011

It was a clear enough to see 200 miles –  60 degrees at the bottom, 30 degrees at the top of Sandia Peak.

One side all rocks, and crags, and jagged edge, staring down at  a desert city,

the other was lush with pine, reaching majestically to sky,

lining, nearly perfectly, a ski slope bereft of white.

All hush,
and silence,
and wind,
and chill,
all around.

To the left…

a fallen tree,
broken at the base,
tumbled to the ground.

A fresh victim of nature,
sap still in but no longer running,
the scent of pine still wafting up from the sinews,
but life all ebbed out.

Only one insignificant tree, out of so many.

No one saw it fall…
no one cared…

all it affected was what it touched on the way down and what was living in and off of it directly.  The world, or in this case, the forest didn’t blink an eye, and wouldn’t skip a beat.

Our Lord knew.
He cared.

Not a sparrow falls from the sky without him knowing…
Not a grain of sand washes out to sea.

And now I cared too.

And through the caring, it hit me.

If I were to fall, one insignificant person out of so many. Most likely no one would see me fall, not many would care, all that would be affected would be who I  touched on the way down and who was living in and around me. The forest, or in this case, the world, wouldn’t blink an eye and wouldn’t skip a beat.

But Our Lord would know.

In all that is the universe,
In all that is this world,
I am totally…

insignificant…

no matter how significant I may deem myself to be.

I absolutely count for nothing against the vastness of creation…

But in the eyes of God, I am most significant.

Yet…

no more significant than anyone else, because all are the apple of his eye.

And tree?

I remember you.

I remember what you taught me…

the balance of worth…

the balace of self opinion…

the balace of humility.

By now the once mighty pine…
reaching 100 feet into the sky,
has been stripped to mere elements…
and now nothing remains…

except…

this…

a splinter of wood,
from a tree on a mountain, that never saw this century…
a lesson on significance and insignificance.

Today I’ll know…

I am insignificant in the eyes of the universe…

most significant in the eyes of God…

yet no more significant than you…

and you…

no more…

than me.

Because we are both more than pine…

more than sand…

more than sparrows…

we are His.

{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

Michelle June 29, 2011 at 7:46 am

I am insignificant in the eyes of the universe…
most significant in the eyes of God…
yet no more significant than you…
and you…
no more…
than me.
Because we are both more than pine…
more than sand…
more than sparrows…
we are His.

And praise God for that. May we continue to uphold His reputation, because mine is nothing without Him.

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Craig June 29, 2011 at 2:01 pm

… You and me both Michelle, and when we (I) think to be more than we are it’s because the comparison is made to other creations of the Creator and not the Creator himself. God bless you Michelle.

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thefisherlady June 29, 2011 at 9:01 am

I would miss you… funny how taking home a splinter of wood helps us remember the beauty of the life it once held. Thank you for sharing today…blessings Craig

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Craig June 29, 2011 at 2:03 pm

thank you Susan – then, in the analogy, I imagine that you would be one of those things living “around” the tree – and that splinter? Amen – it was a majestic tree! thank you again Susan, and blessings to you too.

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Lisa notes... June 29, 2011 at 10:23 am

This is beautiful, Craig, as usual. I have a sliver of wax that I saved from a candle almost 20 years ago because of its significance to me at the time I burned the candle. I know. God knows. May we find contentment that that is enough. Any more is just icing on the cake.

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Craig June 29, 2011 at 2:07 pm

and all the beauty in it arises from it being and “as told to” type of story – Him being the narrator, me being me interviewer – all I did was write what I heard H aim say. And if there is a post about that candle – I’d heart reading it I know. Is there one?

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Lisa notes... July 2, 2011 at 1:41 pm

Actually I need to think more about the candle story and see if it’s blog-post-worthy. ha.

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Craig July 2, 2011 at 2:09 pm

(◠‿◠)

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Kris June 29, 2011 at 11:44 am

Beautiful, Craig. to try to say more would only take away from your humbling words. Thank you for this.

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Craig June 29, 2011 at 2:08 pm

thank you Kris, I’m humbled now – humble is good – always alleluia!

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Cindy Holman June 29, 2011 at 12:09 pm

This is beautiful. I’m glad I am significant to Him – and that nothing happens without His notice and attention – great reminder. So if a tree falls in the forest and there’s no one around to hear it – does it make noise?

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Craig June 29, 2011 at 2:10 pm

I heart that about HIM so much – not a grain of sand – not a tree– not a sparrow falls without him knowing. And yes it makes noise – but it only has a message if one of his children grabs a piece of it and blogs :-) God bless you Cindy – and thank you.

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A. June 29, 2011 at 1:33 pm

What a beautiful way to help us keep things in perspective! And Craig, you would be missed by those of us who found you here in this part of the forest and are so glad we did, in addition to being missed by your family and friends and Laska.

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Craig June 29, 2011 at 2:13 pm

thank you A.

and like I told Michelle, as I replied to her comment, in the metaphor of the tree in the forest – you would be something living “around” the tree – the love Kitty would be something living “in and with” the tree – and though nobody ever wants to be missing – it’s kind of nice to know you’d be messed. No?

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Angela June 29, 2011 at 3:34 pm

Beautifully written and illustrated Craig! Your writing seems to be like fine wine. Each time I visit I see new things with it. Love it.

Yes, you would be missed. You have made a heart impression on a lot of us :)

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Craig June 29, 2011 at 3:47 pm

thank you Angela, thank you. Really, your words are gracious. And I’m not sure comment ever made me smile so big. God bless you Angela.

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Mama Zen June 29, 2011 at 9:04 pm

Beautiful, Craig!

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Craig July 1, 2011 at 4:31 pm

thank you Kelly, I heart your way with words, so when you say something is beautiful – it means a lot to me. God bless and keep you and all of yours.

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Debbie June 30, 2011 at 1:12 am

Echoing all the “we would miss yous!” I would too! :) Who else would write in Laskish for us? Or help us pin negative voices to the wall?
This talk of the tree touches me. I’ve been looking into the woods, past all the leafy green, and seeing how many trees there are, downed and starting to rot. They criss cross the forest floor. I don’t think I realized how much falls, how many.
God bless you and keep you in His strength!

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Craig June 30, 2011 at 11:46 am

Debbie, it’s nice to hear the “we’d miss you’s” – that actually might be another voice to go up on my negative voice all – the “nobody would miss you, nobody would care” voice. So thank you – thank you. God bless you!

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Debra June 30, 2011 at 1:18 am

Craig, this is the crème de la crème of photos and words and passion and truth – just the reminder that he is always beholding us and that we matter makes all the difference.
And if you were a tree in the forest and fell, I’d cry :(

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Craig June 30, 2011 at 11:43 am

first, thank you for letting me know that you would notice if I took a tumble in the forest (◠‿◠)

Second, thank you for your kind words. Gracious – just gracious.God bless you Debra.

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Kristin June 30, 2011 at 11:23 am

I have a tree ring in my home from a tree years ago that was a part of a miracle (I’ll share that some day)
Your words are beautiful as ever. They stir my soul. They make me think. I love that!

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Craig June 30, 2011 at 11:28 am

thank you Kristin, and please make sure that when you write that post about the tree ring you’ll swing by here and give me a heads up – I don’t think I want to miss it. And thank you for your kind words – as always, they mean the world. God bless and keep you and all of yours!

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Connie Mace June 30, 2011 at 7:50 pm

Craig,
Such wondrous truth!

Long ago, I heard the ridiculous saying, “If a tree falls in the woods, and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?”…I’ve often thought what an egotistical, symptom of humanity that question and it’s implication is…that if a human isn’t there to hear it, there’s no sound…thank you for reminding us of truth.

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Craig July 1, 2011 at 4:35 pm

Connie, it’s actually that saying that prompted the title to the piece – a tree falls in the forest. I’ve always just been kind of playful with that saying – I never thought about it as deeply as you. How it shows that we just always assume that WE are the center of everything. And we ARE the center of his creations – but Amen, I should always know that I am not THE center – just centered ON by an amazing God.thank you Connie, thank you, and God bless you.

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Cora July 1, 2011 at 8:55 am

It has taken me several days now to be able to come back and comment on this incredible post. I think of all that we have learned so far about negative voices, etc., this has hit me the hardest and deepest. As you stated, this probably needs to be my largest sticky note on the wall and closest to the center. “No voice,” “Insignificant,” “Unnoticed,” “Unimportant,” “Not missed,” “One-in-a-million,” “Always 10 in line to take your place,” etc., etc. I need more sticky notes.
I have a little box tucked away. In it are 12 little stones I picked up off the beach of the Gulf of Mexico. In the darkest hours of the night, I cried out to God that if He really heard me, would He PLEASE let me know if He had ANYTHING left for in this life, to somehow let me know. In the quietness of that hour, 12 verses came to me as if He has spoken them and written them just for me. The silence was so loud that night over 30 years ago, and those stones still speak.
Craig, if you fell in the forest, I for one, would be deafened by the silence. And I know that those of us who have been priviledged to be growing up and nurtured around you in this forest would mourn greatly, but would also praise God for having been changed forever for having known you. Thank you for that!

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Craig July 1, 2011 at 4:16 pm

Cora, I have some really important stones to – from a very important trip – stones with the lesson. I heart when God speaks – and we can get enough of a sense of what he’s saying – whether it be Scripture or just a message or just a feeling. I heart that! Glad you have the stones – and those verses. And thank you for saying you would miss me of my tree fell. Hopefully by the time I’m done with the negative voices in this war – I’ll be able to actually believe a complement that I hear – right now – I have to try really hard to accept it as true. Thank you Cora – thank you, and as always God bless and keep you and make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you.

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Tereasa July 2, 2011 at 8:04 am

Craig,
While trying to make an impact on the littlest lives around me, I seldom make my voice known in cyberspace. When I do venture out, your blog is a special place to visit. Imagine my surprise when I opened up your blog this morning to find pictures of my hometown! I recognized the city right away and my heart skipped a beat when I read the confirming words, “Sandia Peak.” Your words were beautiful and inspiring, as usual, but the pictures were what filled my heart this time. I went home in January for the first time in four years. The visions are fresh in my memory, but the longing is still there. Thank you for the taste of home this morning.

Blessings,
Tereasa

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Craig July 2, 2011 at 8:42 am

Tereasa, and since it’s YOUR peak, and your town, I want to share with you one other little thing I learned there. I wrote a paper on Abraham when I was just a very new Christian – a college paper. And there was this moment in the Abraham story when he and Lot go up the mountain and Abraham told lot he could take one side – and that Abraham would take the other. On one side were the “cities of the plain” – Sodom and Gomorrah and the like. On the other was nothing. The younger Lot, chose the bright cities. When I stood on that peak and I could literally see on one side nothing and on the other side the cities – one side pine forest and the other side of the Peak just jagged rocks – that verse, which I understood, but was never really alive to me – became alive. And since it’s YOUR peak I’ll tell you the tree was near the top – on the lest side of the slope (◠‿◠) – you may be able to picture exactly where it was. God bless you Tereasa, and thank you for letting me know that you were here and reading. I’m glad you got to see pictures of home. And thank you, thank you.

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