As happens every spring, I watched my neighbor’s cherry tree break open with white, lacy blossoms, the delicate flowers swaying in rhythm to the breezes that filtered through its branches. The tree is huge, probably forty feet high, and serves as a backdrop against the noise of the busy street that runs behind the property. Every year the tree blossoms, and fingers of green appear as the tiny cherries begin to grow and mature. Then, as if by magic, the tree is gilded in red, the ripening fruit hanging like ornaments from its core.
The fruit is a magnet for passing squirrels, hungry birds and menacing raccoons. They all make a dutiful visit, each partaking in the generous larder the tree provides. Last year I watched with baited breath as a raccoon hung precariously forty feet up, its paws grasping at the loaded branches, determined to share in the bounty of the tree. The animal persevered, holding a different branch with each of its feet, letting go only to fill its mouth. How wonderfully God had provided for these animals by simply growing a tree.
Last week, though, when I gazed up at the tree I saw a man with a chain saw hanging from the trunk. The saw whined in high-pitched determination as the man cut away a central branch and dropped it to the ground below. I was devastated.
My husband came home about that time and I exclaimed, “They are taking down the cherry tree!” He went out to investigate and after watching for several minutes, returned with a grin on his face. “They had to remove a broken limb that was hanging over the fence. The rest of the tree with remain intact.”
I sighed in relief. The thought of the animals not making their annual trek to the tree was unacceptable. The Bible says that not a sparrow falls that the Lord does not know about. I’m sure their hunger is as important to Him as it is to me.
Besides forty feet of lace reaching to the heavens is a spectacular site. Even for us critters of the two-legged variety.