Monday, November 23, 2009

A picture of a tree

All religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree.” Albert Einstein

And what is the name of that tree? That is the real question. When I imagine this tree, I see a bright, full, strong tree growing beside a river. It is set apart from others, having privileged access to the water, its roots growing deeper and its branches reaching higher each year. The animals of the forest come and rest under its shade in the long, hot afternoons. The birds nest in its broad, stable branches where the squirrels play in the evenings.

There are many who have heard the name of this tree. Many have whispered the name over the years, looking long and hard for it. Some have found it and as they recount the story of their search, others laugh and mock or just nod quietly in understanding. Many have even died in defense of that tree, not that any could destroy it; this tree stands beyond the reach of any destructive intent but not so far from any who search for its shade. I have seen young people who sit and marvel at its beauty day after day and others who wander far from it, discontented and lost. I have heard the words of old men who did not believe in its existence and others whose every word was the rustling of its leaves and the flowing of its sap.

The name of the tree is Truth and it is rooted deep in the eternal and unchanging Word. It was planted before the beginning of time and served well the Creator in the founding and forming of our universe. It breathes life and speaks to everything in our search for understanding. Its branches are science, math, history, philosophy and art, but also, mercy, justice, compassion and love. It eludes many who think they are wise, and many who think they know nothing are standing in its shade.