In the Hershey Garden this summer we saw several specimens of weeping hemlock (Tsuga candensis “Pendula”). The name caught my eye because from a Bible perspective, we associate “hemlock” with a poison. Using that perspective, the name for this tree is the “weeping poison.”
The weeping hemlock is a north American conifer with needles that are green all year long. It can grow as tall as 10-12 feet, but, ofter tree stewards keep it pruned to 2-3 feet so the tree appears as a mound of weeping foliage. The weeping hemlock can spread horizontally 8-10 feet. It grows in part shade to full sun and prefers cool, moist conditions. The weeping hemlock is intolerant of drought.
In the Old Testament, drought was frequently associated with lack of rain falling on the land because of sins of the Israelites. Today, we don’t associate drought, or lack of rain, with sin. Americans are much to sophisticated to think that God sends and with-holds rain in response to our sin. But, God is unchangeable; He said so in the Bible. So maybe drought is a response to sin.
I have times of drought in my life. They occur when I don’t spend time with God. In those times, I am not refreshed with the dew of God’s mercy. I stop blooming. I have nothing or little positive to give others.
Reflection: Why in the world do I and why in the world do you at times neglect to spend time with God? Our young associate pastor last Sunday said that we become like individuals we spend time with. It really is simple: I want to be like God, so I need to spend time with him.
I love Bible plants along with their symbolism. If you want to learn more about them, read my two books: 1) Rooted in God and 2) God as a Gardener. You can purchase them from my website: Carolyn Roth Ministry at http://www.CarolynRothMinistry.com/
Copyright August 3, 2014; Carolyn A. Roth