Allen Stark

Allen Stark

Psalm 1: “Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither — whatever they do prospers.”

So, am I a tree person? This is what I asked myself after reading Psalm 1. A voice in my head seemed to tell me, “If so, there are opportunities for tree people.”

Things I began thinking about:

  • The beauty of the trees that surround her house in Tennessee inspires my sister, who is an artist. She takes photos and paints pictures of the trees, their fruit, leaves, and flowers; and the animals and birds that make them their home.
  • I also think of the builders who are building some nice houses in the Lake Ohana neighborhood. Builders and carpenters check the timb
  • er quality to make sure it is what is needed to build the best structure.
  • I also remember the playhouse I built for our daughter years ago. Her reaction to it when I completed the build was like someone looking at his or her “dream house.”

During the summer months, I am more aware of the insects that also appreciate tree and shrub habitats. And when trying to find a picnic table in the shade at Lake Manawa Park, it became very obvious that trees also provide shade on hot days for people wanting to enjoy a nice picnic in the park. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to find a table in the shade and decided to return home to our wonderful wooden deck with an umbrella.

Working with certain people over the years has exposed me to some interesting attitudes they have had and actions they have taken.

So I can affirm the value of what not only are called “tree people,” but also what chapter one of Psalm likens people to. I have experienced and benefited from people who, like verse 3 says: “That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither — whatever they do prospers.”

Having spiritually internalized what Psalm 1 verses 1-3 says, I now see “tree people” as those who keep tuning in to God’s truth and grace. They have enough inner strength and effectiveness to offer shade, nourishment and security to those around them who need it.

After recently reading “Reflections on the Psalms” in a book entitled, “The Beloved Works of C.S. Lewis”, I have again been encouraged to reread this unique prayer book that addresses human emotions. The writer of Psalms also adds his compassion for others, which should enable us to become the kind of tree people needed to make a difference in the world.

But even better, unlike trees that are rooted to one place, tree people can follow God anywhere a challenge or opportunity arises and spread his grace wherever we go, like the Bible encourages disciples to do: “Go.” So, do not just be a “pew sitter.” Get up and follow God’s orders: “Go” and “plant new seeds,” as my daughter recently reminded me to do.

And water them, in order to grow more “tree people.”

— Contact: amsstark@msn.com

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