Then I read on: "As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love......I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete." (v 9, 11)
I look at the tree again and some of the pain in my heart dissipates. It's a picture of Love. He is the love pouring life into us (and have I not experienced that time and time again?) He promises joy - complete joy - as we know we are loved. We flourish, we thrive, we bear fruit. We can live, receiving his extravagant love. We cling to Him because He loves us with everything that He is. How do I understand a love like that?
I look again at the tree....the wood. I remember the wood that He hung on. The tree that He made becoming an instrument for His torture. The tree, torn from the ground, ripped from the life source, given unto death. Death of the tree, death of the Man of Love. The love story of the ages, that He, Life Giver, the One that we cling to, became death on a tree so we could remain in His love, and without love we wither and die.