The hawthorn hedge

I love trees! I love the different types of trees, the gnarly, twisting and curving of branches as they grow and mature. The captivating leaves and blossoms or seeds that each species produces add so much beauty to our world. Growing up in Louisiana, I had my share of pine needles and pine cones. I never saw past the annoying large cones that needed to be picked up or the pine straw that needed to be raked up. Trees were annoying and not much beauty there. But after living in several different States and driving through even more, from Indiana to Alabama, Georgia to Tennessee, Florida to Virginia and all around North Carolina, I developed a curiosity and love for the different species. I love how trees can bring relief from the sweltering sun or even provide a juicy snack. They mark boundaries and endear us to country sides and meadows providing such picturesque scenery. I love the wispiness of a weeping willow and how it grows along a river bank.

Trees paint pictures in our minds. Some of the most beautiful flowers bloom amongst the sharpest of thorns! Sin brought the thorns; Thorns hurt! And yet, the beautiful bloom brings sweet satisfaction in response to earth’s fatefulness.

The following is a poem taken from the devotional, Streams in the Desert 1, and makes me think of my journey on the scarlett road:

The hawthorn hedge that keeps us from intruding,

Looks very fierce and bare

When stripped by winter, every branch protruding

Its thorns that would wound and tear.

But spring-time comes; and like the rod that budded,

Each twig breaks out in green;

And cushions soft of tender leaves are studded,

Where spines alone were seen.

The sorrows, that to us seem so perplexing,

Are mercies kindly sent

To guard our wayward souls from sadder vexing,

And greater ills prevent.

To save us from the pit, no screen of roses

Would serve for our defense,

The hindrance that completely interposes

Stings back like thorny fence.

At first when smarting from the shock, complaining

Of wounds that freely bleed,

God’s hedges of severity us paining,

May seem severe indeed.

But afterwards, God’s blessed spring-time cometh,

And bitter murmurs cease;

The sharp severity that pierced us bloometh,

And yields the fruits of peace.

Then let us sing, our guarded way thus wending

Life’s hidden snares among,

Of mercy and of judgment sweetly blending;

Earth’s sad, but lovely song.

An animated view of thorns and blooms on the scarlett road!


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