The Tree

The Tree

A 4 Death of JesusA 7 LionThis Christian Herald story is included in The Lion of Judah (4) The Death of Jesus and (7) The Lion of Judah in one volume

A great prison warden, Kenyon Scudder, often told this story of a modern-day miracle. A friend of his happened to be sitting in a railway coach next to a young man who was obviously depressed. Finally the man revealed that he was a convict returning from a distant prison. His imprisonment had brought shame on his family and they had neither visited him nor written often. He hoped, however, that this was only because they were too poor to travel, too uneducated to write. He hoped, despite the evidence, that they had forgiven him.

To make it easy for them, however, he had written them to put up a signal for him when the train passed their little farm on the outskirts of town. If his family had forgiven him they were to put up a white ribbon in the big apple tree near the line. If they didn’t want him back they were to do nothing, and he would stay on the train, go far away, probably become a hobo.

As the train neared his home town his suspense became so great he couldn’t bear to look out the window. His companion changed places with him and said he would watch for the apple tree. In a minute, he put his hand on the young convict’s arm. “There it is,” he whispered, his eyes bright with sudden tears. “It’s all right. The whole tree is white with ribbons” (The Christian Herald, January 1961).

It’s all right. The whole tree is red with blood.

“He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed” (1 Peter 2:24).

We celebrate our eternal reunion, forgiven and clean.

This story from The Christian Herald, 1961, precedes the famous 1970s song “Tie a yellow ribbon ’round the ole oak tree” about a similar story of a man returning home on a bus after three years imprisonment.

Tie_a_Yellow_Ribbon-p0im3m-d 2

Tie a yellow ribbon ’round the ole oak tree

I’m comin’ home, I’ve done my time
Now I’ve got to know what is and isn’t mine
If you received my letter telling you I’d soon be free
Then you’ll know just what to do
If you still want me
If you still want me

Whoa, tie a yellow ribbon ’round the ole oak tree
It’s been three long years
Do ya still want me (still want me)
If I don’t see a ribbon ’round the ole oak tree
I’ll stay on the bus
Forget about us
Put the blame on me
If I don’t see a yellow ribbon ’round the ole oak tree

Bus driver, please look for me
’cause I couldn’t bear to see what I might see
I’m really still in prison
And my love, she holds the key
A simple yellow ribbon’s what I need to set me free
I wrote and told her please

Whoa, tie a yellow ribbon ’round the ole oak tree
It’s been three long years
Do ya still want me (still want me)
If I don’t see a ribbon ’round the ole oak tree
I’ll stay on the bus
Forget about us
Put the blame on me
If I don’t see a yellow ribbon ’round the ole oak tree

[Instrumental Interlude]

Now the whole damned bus is cheerin’
And I can’t believe I see
A hundred yellow ribbons ’round the ole oak tree

I’m comin’ home, mmm, mmm

(Tie a ribbon ’round the ole oak tree)

The Christian Herald story is included in The Lion of Judah (4) The Death of Jesus

 

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3 Replies to “The Tree”

  1. Forgiveness is a miracle especially these days. Under the false glare of modern media.
    But every year our trees are festooned in scented ribbons of blossom. If only we paid attention to the signs ⚓️

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