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home : religion : religion July 22, 2019

5/12/2019 12:05:00 AM
The Giving Tree
Charles R. Swindoll — 'Life is  10% what happens to you and  90% how you react to it.'

Charles R. Swindoll — 'Life is 
10% what happens to you and 
90% how you react to it.'

Rev. Susan Smith Walker
Emanuel Reformed Church

On Mother’s Day I was reminded of the children’s book “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein. This classic children’s story is about the love between a special tree and a boy who loved her.

In the beginning he is young and loves to gather her leaves, climb the tree, eat her apples, and sleep in her shade. Giving these things to the boy makes the tree happy because she loves him. As the boy gets older he has less and less time for the tree but when he needs something he goes to her and that makes the tree happy because she loves him.

As a young man he goes to the tree for money, so she lets the boy take her apples to market and sell them. Giving to the boy makes her happy. Time passes and he goes to the tree for a house because he is ready to get married and have a family. The tree lets the boy cut off her branches to build a house and this makes her happy. Years go by and the boy is much older now. He wants a boat so he can sail away from the worries and stress of life. The tree lets the boy cut down her trunk so he can build a boat but this time she is not as happy because all she has left is a stump. The tree loves the boy and over the years giving to him has made her happy but now it seems she has nothing left to help him.

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At the end of the story the boy is an old man and he comes to see his tree. At first she is sad because she has nothing left to give, and he is too old to want anything. “I don’t need very much now” said the boy, “just a quiet place to sit and rest. I am very tired.”

“Well”, said the tree, straightening herself up as much as she could, “well, an old stump is good for sitting and resting. Come Boy, sit down. Sit down and rest.” The boy did, and the tree was happy.

Mothers are like Giving Trees. We love our children more than words can say. When they are young we are the center of their world and those are precious memories of giving night and day. Little children need something all the time. We feel needed and important to them. We are together all the time. They are our whole world and we are their whole world. This makes us happy.

As they get older they need us less and less but we still give everything we have at important times in their lives to help them. They still need us and that makes us happy. Even when we are old and they are old, we are like a stump they can sit on in peace and rest.

God’s love is like a Giving Tree and is a model for mothers’ love. God gave it all for us as his children and so we give it all for our children as well.

John 3:16-17
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Don’t forget to RSVP for the luncheon on May 23, 2019 at noon at Emanuel Reformed Church for the readers of this column. You have blessed me with your support and now I want to bless you back! RSVP to 828-962-8196 or

Rev. Walker is the pastor of Emanuel Reformed Church

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