Hugged by Gilded Hands: The Death of a Tree

Only you
truly know 
the heaviness you’ve carried,
of something decaying
the weight of burdens on your being,
every part of you,
just waiting
to break.

Then the crashing,
of the limbs that were never yours to carry,
a force that can destroy.
And when this tree was struck,
by bolts of lightning, surely,
where were the witnesses?
Or perhaps, it was the wind.
Not the sweet gentle breeze of spring,
but the whipping of a summer storm
when nothing can withstand
the ways of nature,
a force that blows and breaks what cannot withstand
truth and what is real, 
the nature of this world,
the way the Creator works.

Alone and all were watching,
but didn’t seem to see you.
Yet you know it all,
every leaf that dropped,
each twig that snapped,
all the harsh winds that cut you to the core.
Wreckage now laid bare,
dangerous to trek through,
yet weights relieved,
burdens no longer yours
freedom in the breaking.

Everything will end.
What wasn’t meant to last,
and all the good things too.
But when I lift my eyes
to the space once occupied,
there is an autumn breeze that blows,
shifting the direction of the 
still standing trees, 
hugged by gilded hands,
peace descending,
despite the disaster.

And all the good things, 
I see them, don’t you?
They brighten the blight,
but I’m ready for the day when these snags
become firewood to burn away
all that’s temporary,
a roaring blaze
to consume what was never meant to be,
and purifying me,
for what’s to come
especially those streets of gold
where trees will never know decay
and my heartaches are no more.
Where I am truly seen, 
perfected and beloved,
by Christ in all his glory.

October 22, 2023

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