Taking a Snapshot of the Majestic Redwood

“Get your camera ready,” my husband said to me. That has been a familiar
refrain for the past several weeks as we have traveled across the western half of the
country. I have taken photos of the mountains and oceans, wildlife and flora, buildings
and monuments. I have been chronicling our journey by way of digital photography.
This particular morning, we had driven down the coast of Oregon stopping at
seaside towns along the Pacific Ocean. The smell of the fresh air and the feel of the
ocean breeze could not be captured by the camera’s lens, but the breathtaking sights of
pounding surf, jutting rocks, sandy shores, and expansive water provided endless material
for photo shoots.
“According to the map, we are just about to enter the park,” were the next
words out of his mouth. He had been anxious to see the mighty Redwoods of Northern
California from the day we began to plan our trip. Twisting roads through fir tree
laden mountain passes had brought us to the Jedediah Smith Redwood State Park. The
adventure was ready to commence.
Suddenly we transitioned from ordinary amazing trees to extraordinary amazing
Redwood trees. There they stood – huge in stature, majestic in height. We had read that
these skyscrapers could reach upward to 350 feet in elevation, have bases of 30 feet in
diameter, and weight upwards of 500 tons; but those statistics were difficult to
comprehend until we saw them firsthand. We were two enraptured tourists.
These giants, which can live up to 2000 years, have tannin filled bark that is one
foot thick and thus resistant to insets, fungus, diseases, and even fire. The roots, while
typically measuring only one inch in diameter, are sent out 50 to 80 feet from the trunk,
and they intermingle with the root systems of other Redwood trees. The Redwood likes
the mild, moist climate of coastal northwest California where rain and fog is prevalent.
A large Redwood tree--a 200-foot Redwood with a trunk of 5 feet in diameter--holds
34,000 pounds of water and transpires up to 200-500 gallons of water each day
They appear to be eternal and indestructible. They communicate a grandeur to
which no other tree can compare. They reach heavenward, towering so high that the tops
can barely be viewed with just the naked eye. To stand alongside is to dwarf the stature
of even the most noble of men. To compare the greatness of man with the magnitude of
the Redwood would be vanity and pomposity. Perhaps God was telling us something
when He made that tree.
Scripture speaks of the Cedars of Lebanon, which were chosen by Solomon to use
when building his Temple. The forests of Lebanon had the honor to be transformed into
the House of God. I guess one could say that those trees provided a picture of God’s
majestic dwelling place.
Although God is not His creation because He is transcendent over all that He has
made, nonetheless, the Redwoods provide us a small snapshot of God’s majesty. “Got a
clear picture?” my husband inquired. “Yes, I think I do,” I responded as I took the photo.

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