Saturday, August 24, 2013

If Trees Could Talk

I woke up this morning craving history and a road trip.  Happily, I live in Virginia where history abounds!  August has been wonderful yet busy, so I took today by the horns and set out on an adventure.  I love an adventure.

I chose to visit Appomattox Court House where the Civil War ended (Newsflash to Katie:  The surrender did not actually occur in the courthouse, but in Appomattox Court House at the McLean House. Apologies to my 4th grade educators whom I'm sure taught me this.) Earlier this month my friend Christy and I vacationed in Charleston and visited Fort Sumter where the Civil War began.  In a matter of weeks I've gone from beginning to end of the Civil War.

The McLean House, where Robert E. Lee surrendered to US Grant (The house was actually dismantled to be displayed in Washington, D.C.; however it was never shown.  Using many of the same bricks the house was reconstructed in Appomattox Court House in the 1940s.)
Fort Sumter.  The boat and land tour were most instructive.  Please visit if you're in SC!
At Appomattox Court House there is ample room to hike the grounds which provides time for reflection.  I thought about the horrors of war...then and now. I thought about slavery...then and now.  I thought about racial tensions...then and now.  I thought about injustice...then and now.  I thought about all the families who've lost a husband or son or dad or brother or wife or daughter or mom or sister...then and now. I thought a lot.

I enjoyed touring the buildings, but what impressed upon me most was the trees.  Some of the trees are hundreds of years old and were there during the war.  I spent a good deal of time examining this tree.  It is just across the way from the McLean House.  If trees could talk, what would it say?

I won't try to tie a bow on the hard days of then and now, but I do have great confidence in the newness of Jesus Christ.  He can make all things new.  He can make all people new.  I believe that.  And ultimately, all will be made well.  The trees that have witnessed the darkness of then and now will rejoice with peace:  "You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands." Isaiah 55:12

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