Lessons from the Tree

Photo: CKirgiss
Unlit by day

I love my book tree just as much unlit by day as lit by night. It’s gracious like that.

Like all beautiful and bookish things, there’s more to this book tree than just a tapered stack of tomes. There is truth. Loads of it. Mostly about the Church and her people.

Lesson 1: If one book falls, they all fall. (Really – is it too obvious to state?)

Lesson 2: Each book brings something unique to the tree – colors, textures, topics, covers, authors, views, titles. The variety is astonishing.

Lesson 3: The tree is made entirely of books that were either destined for the trash pile or stacked in a junk shop before being rescued, bought for a price, carried home, and given new life.

Lesson 4: Some of the books have divergent views on such things as history, humanity, and society, but they all agree to play together nicely and be part of this particular tree.

Lesson 5: Together, these books make something bigger, better, and more beautiful than they do alone.

Lesson 6: Even the smallest amount of book tree light pierces the surrounding darkness.

Photo: CKirgiss

Lesson 7: The inner book tree lights radiate the space within, then spill out the cracks, tumble over the pages, and radiate the space without.

Photo: CKirgiss
Inner light, outer glow

Lesson 8: The seemingly ordinary books are quite as necessary as the fancifully decorated books.

Photo: CKirgiss
(extra)ordinary

Lesson 9: The tree stands tall and true only because it is built on a foundation that is strong and level (and also happens to be made out of an old shed door decorated in crayon by the neighbor girl).

Photo: CKirgiss
On this table I will build my tree.

Lesson 10: The tree brings me joy. Great, great joy.

So should the Church. And so can the Church. But often she does not because (sometimes) each of her books determines to write its own story, construct its own foundation, and be its own individual tree.

And yet the Lord loves her (and her books) still. Glory be, that is Good News indeed.

[Just one more thing…]

My particular book tree has its own peculiar mix of doctrines that I discovered only after constructing it. (NOTE: The views of my tree do not necessarily reflect the views of this blog or its author.)

My book tree:

is ecumenical

Photo: CKirgiss
Dante and Catholic Philosophy

embraces teaching that is both didactic and narrative

Photo: CKirgiss
Pinocchio and English-French Dictionary

is evangelistic

Photo: CKirgiss
Billy Sunday

wallows gleefully in human depravity

Photo: CKirgiss
The Seamy Side of History

is egalitarian – or maybe complementarian?

Photo: CKirgiss
Call of the Wild and A Girl of the Limberlost

is confidently heaven-bound

Photo: CKirgiss
The Country Beyond

warns against backsliding

Photo: CKirgiss
The Danger Trail

deals with behavior lapses simply and swiftly (and – let’s hope – privately)

Photo: CKirgiss
It Never Can Happen Again

encourages daily surrender and sanctification

Photo: CKirgiss
Little Journeys

puts a high priority on children’s ministries

Photo: CKirgiss
Complete Cheerful Cherub

cares for those in need

Photo: CKirgiss
The Sick-A-Bed Lady

follows a congregational form of government

Photo: CKirgiss
The Little Minister

and lastly, has a definitive view of baptism.

Photo: CKirgiss
Water Babies

6 thoughts on “Lessons from the Tree

  1. Siow May November 27, 2012 / 10:47 pm

    Reblogged this on SiowMay's~! and commented:
    i like the whole idea of a Christmas tree like this! 😀

  2. ckirgiss November 27, 2012 / 10:52 pm

    Thanks ‘Slow May.’ You should make one for yourself – it’s so worth it.

  3. don constable November 28, 2012 / 6:47 am

    dear crystal; Love your idea and words. A book tree with deep secrets. I have been collecting books dealing with the civil war. After all I live in Atlanta. It’s amazing the depth of hate. Your idea was inspirational—God help me be kind, and to love your words no matter who writes them.

    • ckirgiss November 28, 2012 / 9:12 am

      The tree has deeper secrets than you know. I think it might be Pentecostal. My most recent thought – each of the books has its own doctrinal stance; within each book, each page has its own identity and role; on each page, each word has its own letters and purpose – so I could push the metaphor thus: each word is a person, each page is a congregation, each book is a denomination (or “loosely organized collection of non-denominational churches built on a consistent and orthodox platform”), and the tree is all of Christendom. The metaphor isn’t obvious – after all, Christendom rarely hangs together as nicely and tightly as my book tree – but it’s interesting to contemplate. And I join your prayer: “God, help me to be kind to all and to embrace Your truth regardless of its source.” [This whole book tree thing has only confirmed how much I love words and sentences and language and the books that give them a home.] [Also, I might build a mini version.] [Any new poetry to share?]

  4. Lisa Harker December 2, 2012 / 3:16 pm

    You are one of the most honestly creative persons I know and I love how you mix your passions, creativity and faith. Your book tree is inspirational in so many ways. Thank you for sharing and blessing us!

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