by Cass Ducharme

published in Family Matters eNewsletter, 4/17/14

A tree fell in the amphitheatre at the church this week. This was not just any tree; it was the big oak tree at the top of the amphitheatre right beside the steps and the parking lot.
For years, this tree has shaded many cars, and Homer’s truck, from the summer heat. It welcomed us when we gathered for sunrise services, concerts, live nativities, and weddings. It was the home of birds and squirrels, which are now looking for new highrises in which to abide. It was here when our church first started gathering on this side of the river over 60 years ago. It shed its leaves and grew new ones for probably 100 seasons.
When I first saw it, I was in awe of its massive trunk that had uprooted from the ground; of its long, lush limbs filling the entire amphitheatre seating area, save the first three rows; of its spring beauty, although now dead. I was amazed that it fell almost perfectly between the lamppost and the landing at the top of the amphitheatre. Although a railing and many of the bricks were damaged, it fell away from the cars in the parking lot and the Chapel, sparing Homer’s beautiful red truck.
As Caitlin, Jean, Jake, Homer, and I were standing by the massive tree talking about the damage it had caused, we were reminded that this catastrophe could have been much worse, especially if it had fallen at 7:00 this Sunday morning. We also noticed that the landscape of the amphitheatre was much more open and inviting. Although we will miss its shade in July, the loss of this tree helps us see this part of our beautiful grounds in a new way and with a new perspective.
As we embark on this holy weekend filled with consecration, suffering, death and resurrection, we are reminded once again that through the loss we feel with Jesus’ death, in his resurrection we find a whole new perspective on life and eternal life.
As you are reading this, the tree removal crew is diligently working to remove the tree. I look forward to seeing all of you in our beautiful amphitheatre, minus one tree, on Sunday morning at 7:00 as we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord.