(Spiritual Insights From A Wise Old Oak Tree)

(By: Linda R. Albrecht)

I would like to share my journey with you.  It's a story about God's creation - you and me, and all things of the Universe. The life breath of God is in everything. All the particles that make up matter are part of God. We are irreplaceable to Him. He never forgets us.  God is love. And, love never forgets ...

I am 157 years old. Yes, reader, I am that old. I was born in the year 1855. I originally come from the Green Ridge State Forest located in Allegany County in the state of Maryland. You see, I was born an oak tree, and I grew to be a tall and majestic one. I happily lived there in solitude for 60 years.

My life in the forest showed me firsthand the Creator's power. His life breath flowed through me and in all the creatures; ones who crawled on the forest floor and those that flew high above me. I witnessed life everywhere. It even lived in my branches at times. The shade I offered to my fellow creatures made me a friend to many of them. That was an idyllic time for me.

I rarely saw humans in my part of the forest. I caught glimpses of an occasional hiker on his or her journey. But, for the most part, my forest was high up and few humans would travel my way. But, even so, I saw the life breath in these creatures, too. I liked them. They would marvel at me and my surroundings. I felt special. 

Then, the year 1915 came. I had heard some loud rumblings coming far below in the valley floor. I heard human voices echoing and loud buzzing coming from some kind of noisy contraptions. One day, the sounds started to get louder. The humans were getting closer. 

But, even during this time of commotion, I never felt I would be harmed. I felt untouchable. I knew the Creator was watching over me. He wouldn't dare have anything happen to His creation. So, I kept on living and enjoyed my carefree, and mostly, solitary existence.

Then, a horrible and frightening thing happened. It was March 25, 1915. It was a beautiful, chilly day. The humans had arrived. Now, I saw them up close. They were carrying those loud contraptions. I now knew what they were intended for. They were cutting down fellow mighty oaks just 500 feet away from me. I saw them falling one by one. Then, it came my turn. I cried out to God, the Father, for help. But, the buzzing started near my base, and I started to sway. I fell hard. But, to my amazement, I still had the life breath in me. 

They carried part of me down the mountain. I was put on a truck that had the words emblazoned on the side, Thomas Logging. The truck bumped its way down the mountain. I started to doubt my being special to God.  He surely could not have wanted this for me. 

That same week, I was transplanted to another state. I was sent to a place named Kendall & Swift Furniture. It was located in the Ozark Mountain region of Missouri. It was a beautiful area. The surrounding trees reminded me of my old home in Maryland. I didn't look like a tree anymore. I was saddened by this. I had changed. At my home in Maryland, I had been replaced with a fledgling tree. At least, Thomas Logging had implemented the policy of planting trees to replace the trees they had cut down.

Here at Kendall & Swift Furniture I saw humans sawing, cutting, and polishing logs. One such old oak became a desk. It was beautiful. These humans were craftsmen. What made it easier to bear with this change was that these humans seemed to believe in the Creator, too. I heard them singing to Him while they worked.

My time of transformation came. I was carefully changed into an oak chair. They cut away my rough spots, smoothed away my imperfections, and molded me into a sturdy, beautiful chair. I caught a glimpse of myself in one of their shop windows. I might not have stood as the majestic oak I once was, but I was still something. I still had beauty in me.

I was put in a back room for three months. I didn't mind the quiet. On occasion, I would hear the humans singing their songs to the Creator and laughing about some situation that had popped up in the store. More and more desks and chairs like me were being made during this time. We were being set aside for a particular reason. We were covered up by sheets to keep the dust from touching us. We were hidden away for quite some time.

Then, the year 1916 came. We were being shipped somewhere. We heard the humans say that the order was ready for shipment. That was us. We were transported on a big truck to Saint Louis, Missouri. Where were we going? What was our purpose? What did the Creator have in store for us?

The answers soon came. We were being sent to a placed called a seminary. We were to be desks and chairs for priests and future priests. Could this have been the magnificent plan for us? I was to be a throne to one of God's special chosen ones. I became the chair to an older priest. He was one of the elder professors. I supported him for many years. I learned great things from him. I heard him preparing his lessons and counseling young seminarians. This older priest's office was situated close to the chapel. So, I lived down the hall from the Creator's special place. I was so happy there. 

The years went by, and I witnessed great miracles. I witnessed a young seminarian student who just couldn't pass tests. This young seminarian would shed countless tears in the professor's office. But, my professor would counsel and guide him. The young seminarian's tough times had humbled him, and these difficult times had made him grow into a wise and most beloved priest.

One cold day in 1945, my much loved professor died. That was truly the saddest day of my life. I had been his throne for many years. He had counted on me for support, and I had served him with great love and respect. I continued to remain in his former office. Now, I served a young professor. 

It was in 1953, December 9th, to be exact, that a dark day arrived. I was put into storage. The humans even wrote that date on the bottom of my chair. I was put into an attic area of the same building I had been occupying all these years. They put me up there with all the other old, discarded furniture. I was to be replaced by some modern furniture. 

I was low for awhile. The years went by. I became covered in dust and dirt. Even some fine-feathered friends had left some marks on me. I was no longer the tall tree in the forest from long ago, no longer the sturdy, beautiful chair of the professor. But, I was still something. Over the years, the seminary had moved, so now the building was occupied by the offices of the Church. So, now I heard office workers along with priests below me. Every day Mass was still being celebrated. The beautiful church bells lifted my spirits during this lonely time. So, life went on for me. God, the Creator, knew where I was and knew His plan for me. 

Early 2012 came, and that is when my special friend appeared. Some workers in the building started cleaning out the attic place I had lived in. They were bringing down old furniture and file cabinets to give away free to anyone who wanted to cart them away. 

I looked truly awful at this time of my life. So much dirt, old paint stains, and bird droppings had fallen on me that I doubted I would be taken home with anyone. I thought my end would be a big trash container some of the workers had on hand.

So, down I came from the attic. I was put in the hallway on the ground floor. Someone had put a sign on me marked 'Free.' Some office workers passed by and didn't give me a second look, much less a first look. They couldn't see what was underneath all the muck and mire. 

Then, she came, my special friend. It was an early winter Thursday morning. My special friend had just walked in the building when one of the workers said, 'Here's a free chair for the taking. It's really dirty. I'm not sure you'll even want it. But, it's free.' My special friend gazed my way and almost cordially said no. But, then she looked at me very closely and told the man yes. She saw something in me. I could tell she truly saw me.   

So, at lunchtime, a man helped her load me in her car. He didn't look particularly impressed with her new found chair. Maybe he even thought my special friend was kind of crazy to want to take me home. But, home with her I went. Even her family after first seeing me was perplexed. I was in that bad a shape.

My special friend went out and bought some strong cleaning supplies and polish for me. She put me downstairs of her house and started the tender loving care to bring me back. The Creator had definitely put me in my special friend's hands. She cleaned me twice with such care. All the dirt, paint, and bird droppings were scrubbed off. Then, she used special furniture polish to bring out my once beautiful oak wood. I was back. I was truly myself again. I was special once more. My Creator had not forgotten me.

I now know why my special friend was chosen. I've heard her prayers to our Creator. She once had felt special, and then she, too, felt replaced. She knew exactly what that was like. She had experienced that kind of pain. It's a pain that only God, the Father, can heal. So, God brought us two together. We are bosom friends. Now, I support her. And, I am a part of her family. She has helped me write this story.

Dear reader - growth can come out of pain. If I would have remained in my forest home all those years, being strong, majestic, and untouchable, I would not have grown like I have. I once was replaced by a fledgling tree and then by some modern furniture. And, those were truly painful times. But, God had a plan for me. His plan for me is still unfolding. He has a plan for all of us. To Him, we are irreplaceable. God is love. And, love never forgets.

Linda's email: 

(The Actual Chair)

Dear Reader - are you at peace with God?  If not, you can be. Do you know what awaits you when you die? You can have the assurance from God that heaven will be your home, if you would like to be certain. You can even have that assurance RIGHT NOW!  Either Jesus Christ died for your sins, or He didn't (He did!). Are you prepared to stand before God on the Judgment Day and tell Him that you didn't need the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the Cross to have your sins forgiven and get in right-standing with God? We plead with you...please don't make such a tragic mistake. 

To get to know God, to be at peace with God, to have your sins forgiven, to make certain heaven will be your home for eternity, to make certain that you are in right-standing with God right now ... please click here to help you understand the importance of being reconciled to God. What you do about being reconciled to God will determine where you will spend eternity, precious one. Your decision to be reconciled to God is the most important decision you'll ever make in this life, because in Christ, it is impossible to put a value on the worth of your soul in light of eternity.



Remember:  All that we do in this life comes back to our God-given purpose which is to serve and glorify God. The money and assets we accumulate, the fame and power we've attained or seek to attain - all of the things of this nature will one day pass away, but those lives of others we impact for Jesus Christ will last for eternity, and we will be rewarded for the part we helped play by impacting those lives ... for eternity. (Matthew 6:19-20 is our assurance)