I do not think that this tree in my yard has a soul, in case you may have thought that I had this opinion because of the title of this post.
This tree sits along side my driveway near to my home. Doesn’t it look dead? Sure looks dead to me. Let’s have a closer look:
That has a serious dead look to it. However, if you look closely you may be able to tell that it is only dead vines that cover the tree. Is the tree fine? I’m still not sure but a few years back this tree was covered with ivy. It looked pretty and the research I did said that it probably wouldn’t kill the tree. Eventually, the ivy got so high into the tree that one year it had very few leaves. My neighbor had given me some advise in case I decided upon serious intervention which I eventually thought was needed.
My neighbor told me that he had a tree covered in ivy and that he had decided to get rid of it. He took an ax to the large vines at the bottom of his tree and it killed the ivy the rest of the way up the tree and his tree was okay. Fortunately, I had inherited an enormous ax from my father and decided to give it a try on this tree. It would take a large ax as the vines had grown so large at the bottom of the tree as to resemble the size of small trees themselves.
About three years ago I chopped my way through the thick vines attempting to miss the tree as much as possible. What you see in the pictures above is the way it looks now. As if this tree didn’t have enough apparent challenges, this year tent caterpillars chose this tree to make dozens of nests high in the branches.
This is what the Eastern Tent Caterpillar “tent” looks like in the spring. They leave these tents to feast on the leaves of the trees before crawling to try and find a nice place to build a cocoon. They were everywhere this year. They liked crawling on the car tires particularly. Any leaves that this tree had were quickly gone because of thousands of the voracious little critters.
No leaves in April made me think that this tree may have little hope. A couple of months later, when the caterpillars were all gone, I looked up to see quite a surprise. Leaves were beginning to form on the tree and eventually got to the point to where it is today:
I saw an interview this morning that reminded me of this tree. It was the testimony of a young lady who seemed dead in many ways only to be awakened by the Holy Spirit of God. You can see the video here:
No, I do not believe that my tree has a soul but I do believe that this young woman and every human who has ever lived does have one. I am thankful for her story.
I hope that my tree lives. If it survives a few more years it may get to the point where even more of the dead vines fall off. It’s foliage looks better than it has in years.
I have no problem with people using the word “saved” when describing things with eternal ramifications. However, I did find this article interesting: “Saved: The Most Misunderstood Word in the Bible.”
What has happened and is happening to my tree reminded me of these verses from Hebrews 12:
“Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
I wish you a blessed day.