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Saving My Prayer Tree

My sacred prayer place was in jeopardy of being destroyed.

Power of Prayer
Credit: Nick Lust
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May the God who gives encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other.—Romans 15:5 (NIV)

Standing on the newly scalped road leading to our cabin, I was trying to escape the reality of the electric company’s machinery. How could this be happening? The Queen Anne’s lace, the blackberry bushes, even the wild persimmon and the sweet gum trees had been viciously mowed down under the guise of clearing space for power lines.

Ahead, on the other side of the causeway, the oak tree where I always stopped to talk to God was still standing. I considered the tree my “thin place,” where I felt particularly close to “things not yet seen.” Here, I had fervently prayed for our Aunt Kate in her last days. Here, I had asked God to take care of a dear friend, Frances, as she slowly drifted away.

Even now, the huge machine was headed in the direction of my tree. I gathered my courage, approached the monster and knocked on the door of its air-conditioned cab. The driver cut the engine and swung open the door. “Whataya want?” he snapped.

I felt hard, looking at him.  Meeting my eyes, it was clear that he felt the same.

I wanted to say mean things but out came words I didn’t expect to say: “That tree, up ahead … the tallest one. Well, it’s my … my praying place.” His eyes softened, his expression changed. “I was just hoping,” I finished, “that you might spare that tree.”

The door closed, the engine restarted, and I hurried back to the cabin where my husband was waiting for a trip to town.  Hours later, I squeezed my eyes tight as we approached the causeway. How could I bear seeing my tree twisted into splinters and sawdust?

“Pam,” David said then, “what in the world happened? Your tree is still there, and it’s the only one in sight!”

Father, through Your spirit of unity, my tree was saved. Thank You.

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