“If a tree falls in a lonely forest…”


It has long troubled me that we, as ‘Christ”ians hear more preaching on the teachings of Peter and Paul and the other New testament writers, and the deeds of Christ and his Apostles than we hear preaching on the actual words of Christ. Of course all Scripture is inspired, but it is the teachings of Christ, after all, that sparked the world changing revolution. Shouldn’t every Christian, then, have the teachings of Christ engraved in their hearts and minds?

With this in mind I recently downloaded an audio file entitled “The words of Christ.” This audio file extracts the words of Christ from the Gospel of Mathew- the red letters- and narrates those alone. I decided I would go to sleep listening to them and play them as I prepare breakfast for myself and my sled dogs.

By the second day, I had come to realize that Jesus assumed His hearers understood a simple truth; that our Heavenly Father cares for nature. In fact, Jesus used this assumption as a proof for the Father’s care for His children.

Consider with me, in the Gospel of Matthew, these three metaphors that Jesus sets forth in his teachings concerning God’s care for you.

“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care… So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”

“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?”

And again:

“See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.  If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you…”

flowers of the field

The obvious points taken from these metaphors of the Master is that God cares greatly about us and that we do not need to worry. This primary point cannot be stressed to passionately. Cast all your cares on Him, for He cares for you. Do what is right. Do not be slothful but do every good task as unto God, and He will supply all of your needs according to his riches in glory.

It may also be plainly noted from these metaphors of Christ that our lives, to God, are more valuable than the life of plants and animals. The latter point is often stressed by those who would seek to detract from the ministry of creation care.

But those who see only these points in Christ’s teaching here miss the underlying premise upon which the metaphors are built. Jesus is using the fact that God cares for his creation so much that He is sympathetic to every sparrow that falls, provides for every bird that is hungry, and ornately adorns the grasses of the field.

Is it beneath you, my dear friend, to take care for what your Heavenly father cares for? As I have before asserted, we are His body manifest to the world, the active agents of God to humanity and creation. He has chosen that He would manifest His love and care through his ambassadors, through you and I. Are you above caring for what the Master cares for?

For I will here, once and for all, answer the age old question posed to philosophers and physicists alike; “If a tree falls in a lonely forest and there is no one around to hear it, does it make a sound?”

To the Physicists I say “Yes!” For if God’s eye is on the sparrow, then his ear registers the vibrations made by the falling of the sparrow’s home.

And to the Philosophers I say “Yes!” For from Him and to Him and Through Him are ALL things. Even the tree, unperceived by the mind of man, exists still in the mind of God.

If a tree falls in a lonely forest, God is there to hear it.

If a tree falls