“When Christ was on earth, the dogwood grew to a towering size with a lovely hue.
Its branches were strong and interwoven,
And for Christ’s cross its timbers were chosen.
“Being distressed at the use of the wood,
Christ made a promise which still holds good:
‘Never again shall the dogwood grow
To be large enough for a tree, and so,
Slender and twisted it shall always be,
With cross-shaped blossoms for all to see.
“’The petals shall have bloodstains marked brown,
And in the blossom’s center a thorny crown.
All who see it will think of me,
Nailed to a cross from a dogwood tree.
Protected and cherished this tree shall be,
A reflection to all of my agony.’” Author Unknown
The dogwood is special to me, not because it is my favourite flower but because it was my mother’s favourite. She told me the legend when I just small. She also used to tell about how a friend, tired of waiting for my birth, took her for a ride down a bumpy road. She had him stop so she could climb a fence and pick some dogwood branches. The next day I was born. When she died over 37 years ago I had them put an etching of dogwood on her tombstone.
The associations we make about things as children are so precious. The memories of great stories we are told are the tales that live with us through the years and bring us joy in our old age.
Today this tale of the dogwood is particularly precious to me because I believe in the Jesus it is told about. I can only imagine his agony but this story, true of not, tells of the redemption offered to me and to all of us.
May you know the truth of the cross and seek it’s beauty.