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A few months ago, I wrote a series of posts about Faith, Art, and Government, featuring posters that graphic designer Joseph Binder created for the U.S. Navy. Here are links to those posts: Faith, Art, and Government 1Faith, Art, and Government 2Faith, Art, and Government 3.

I recently came across another poster that mentions God. This poster encourages tree conservation. Ohio artist Stanley Thompson Clough created it in 1938 as part of the New Deal Works Progress Administration (WPA).

WPA poster by Stanley Thomas Clough. Courtesy Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

“Only God can make a tree” is the last line of a poem Joyce Kilmer published in 1914 in a collection titled Trees and Other Poems.


I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.

A tree that “lives intimately with rain.”

As Christian mamas, we desperately want our children to follow Jesus with their whole hearts. We long for this passage to describe our child, but it is hard to wait for them to grow.

How blessed is the man who does not walk
in the counsel of the wicked,
Nor stand in the path of sinners,
Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!
But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
He will be like a tree firmly planted
by streams of water,
Which yields its fruit in its season
And its leaf does not wither;
And in whatever he does, he prospers.
Psalm 1:1-3

We spend our days planting seeds in their hearts and watering them faithfully. The hard part is waiting patiently while those seeds grow. We tend to forget that “Only God can make a tree.”

. . . for it is God who is at work in you,
both to will and to work for His good pleasure.
Philippians 2:13







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