The Miracle of the "David" Tree
Far too often, the challenges and heartaches in our lives distract us from that which should be most sacred and special in our focus and priorities.
And so it was for me, when on the morning of September 7th, 2002,
yet another powerful reminder of God's infinite love and power was given to me.
My experience begins when I was a young father and husband, and we lived in Cumberland, Maryland.
In the backyard of our home at 810 Shriver Avenue was a huge and fruitful old "Granny" apple tree.
Early each Spring, it was covered with blossoms, and it thereafter faithfully bore basket upon basket of fruit, so much so that we had trouble putting all of it to good use, or even finding those with whom to share this bounty.
David, my adopted three year old son, loved to climb up into that tree, and I began to call it the "David" tree.
We moved to Indianapolis, Indiana, in the Fall of 1978, and then moved again shortly thereafter, when Carolyn divorced me and our family fell asunder.
By 2002, David had grown into a strapping 28 year old man, with a home of his own, but the "David" tree remained a precious memory of mine.
And so, in honor of that sweet memory, I had planted another "David" Granny apple tree in the side yard of my home in Falling Waters, West Virginia.
Unfortunately the Summer drought of 2002 took its toll, and the tree soon lost its foliage and died.
Then, in early September of that year, my contractor friend, Jesse Schissler III, was working on an addition to my home, and, knowing my attachment to the now forlorn and lifeless tree, offered to transplant it from the site of the addition and away from the construction work to a large plastic tub on my front porch.
Even though I knew the tree was dead, I agreed, if only to help preserve a keepsake of it.
Still, it looked so pathetic and defeated.
Each passing day, as I came and went to and from home, that dried up little skeleton of a tree caught my attention.
Then, one early morning, just before Dawn, as I was preparing to leave for work at the prison, I felt prompted to knell beside it and pray for its restoration, even going so far as to lay my hands on it's brittle branches, and, by the power and authority of the Holy Melchizedek Priesthood, invoking blessings from Heaven upon it.
It only was a few days thereafter, on the morning of Saturday, September 7th, 2002, that I noticed that it was covered in new green sprouts, followed shortly thereafter with a profusion of apple blossoms.
My feelings about all of this is hard to put into words, but perhaps my favorite poem by Lord Alfred Tennyson best sums up the lesson God taught me through this tree about how we never should give up or lose faith in His promises to us (Isaiah 40:31):
Flower in the crannied wall,
I pluck you out of the crannies.
I hold you here, root and all, in my hand.
Little flower - but if I could understand
What you are, root and all, and all in all,
I should know what God and man is.