In high school I didn’t know much about trees. I was around them all the time but I didn’t understand them. We lived on a farm in those days, with maple, catalpa, an ash trees growing around our house. I saw them every day. I admired their stately trunks and glorious leaves, their ability to withstand severe storms and cold winters, and still grow again the following spring. While I admired them, I didn’t understand how their inner processes work.
Then in college I took a botany class. I studied extra hard for that course because the sciences aren’t my strongest area. We learned the details of cell growth and division, photosynthesis, the Krebs cycle, and so on.
Then one day late in the semester all these details came together for me. While sitting at my desk I had a vision, a comprehensive mental image, of all the informal processes that make a tree function. I saw a whole tree from the delicate roots in the soil, through the vessels in the trunk, and out the branches into the leaves. This wasn’t a static tree, but a living, working, breathing organism. I saw the cells passing chemicals across their membranes, the phloem and xylem pulsating nutrients up and down and across the tree, the leaves engaging in photosynthesis, the ends of the roots and the tips of the branches pushing out new growth. I grasped all of this at once, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye—and I was dazzled. All the hard studying paid off and I finally understood trees at a deeper level, in a more comprehensive way than ever before.
- Luke 17:11 - 21