One warm and sunny afternoon, only weeks after arriving in California, we invited Deni over to the apartment for a late lunch. We were gathered around the table. My back was to the far wall and I was facing the sliding glas doors which lead out to the balcony. As we were enjoying a wonderful meal and delightful converation, we heard the most unusual cracking, popping noise. As I glanced up, I could hardly beleive me eyes. It was as if things were moving in slow motion. A 50 foot old oak tree, which was growing on the opposite side of the creek, was actuall falling towards the balcony. Michael and Deni, hearing the noise, also immediately turned to see this huge tree falling towards us.
It appeared that the top of it would come craching down onto the balcony. We all sat there almost bracing ourselves for the impact. As it hit the ground, the sound was that of an explosion and it shock the entire apartment. It did, however, miss the balcony by at least 10 feet. Phew!
The oak tree had to have been at least 100 years old, based on the height and the diameter of the trunk. Apparently, it had rotted from the inside and the base had become hollow; no longer able to support the great weight of the tree.
We all immediately ran down the stairs to survey the damage. We actuallt felt blessed that we were there to see it happen, rather than to come home to disciver it, after the fact. God used this event in the Secret Garden to inpsire a poem, which I have posted below the picture.
Many creatures now enjoy this fallen tree. The wild turkeys jump up onto the trunk of the tree and groom themselves in the late afternoons, and the cats love to climb up and sharpen their claws on the rugged bark, hoping to catch one of the wild turkeys.
Here is the tree, the day it fell:
A great oak tree came crashing down yesterday.
It fell without warning, there was no delay.
A hundred years plus, it stood from it's birth.
You could tell by it's height, and tell by it's girth.
No wind from without or quake from beneath,
The problem we saw was all underneath,
It's beauty and glory of which we beheld,
Had covered disease by which it had fell.
Many years it provided both shelter and food
For so many creatures of which we conclude,
Yet all in it's path was crushed when it fell.
The mighty has fallen is what we now tell.
What a sobering thought, all men are like trees,
No matter how glorious with all their degrees.
Though nations they make up and stand in their prime,
All this world will fall at the end of all time.
For in is a reproach to the most glorious nation,
Falling short of the glory of the God of creation.
Though He dwells now on high and He rules overall,
He delighteth in mercy, showing compassion to all,
Of which in His pleasure, He's chosen to give,
Through Christ for His glory, by the cross to forgive sin.
Not all will now heed Him, deceived by their sight,
To do what they feel, that to them seemeth right.
Their end is destruction, and OH SUCH MISERY!
The tree lies where it falls is God's Sovereign decree!
Oh today is the day of salvation to all,
Who bow at the feet of King Jesus and call,
And trust in the blood of our Covenant Son,
And rest in the justice of which He has won,
By giving Himself, The Atonement for sin,
And sent His Sweet Spirit, our peace now within.
The sun is now shining, the soft wind now blows.
The glorious grace of our God He bestows.
All knees will bow surely, all tongues will confess,
ALL GLORY AND PRAISE TO THE LAMB'S RIGHTEOUSNESS
Michael E. Wood