Emu finds the arms of a tree

A spiritual look at issues of interest to young people

Emu found a tree. Of course the tree hadn't been lost. It had not moved from the spot where it was when it set its roots down many years before. But for Emu, it was a discovery.

The branches curved gracefully down, as if to welcome anyone who wanted to come and sit on them - like a lady giving a curtsy to a queen, thought Emu.

He ran to the tree and climbed onto the lowest branches.

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The tree's bark was smooth, like his mother's silk dress. He hugged the trunk, and climbed to the next group of branches. Above him the leaves rustled, as if to say, "What about us! Don't forget us!" Emu stood on each branch, hugged the trunk, and climbed to see the leaves as they waved back and forth in the wind.

Close to the top, the wind stroked Emu's face. He looked out and saw the crops. In the spring they all looked the same when they were just seeds in the ground, but now each square had grown and had different colors and different textures. The squares of crops reminded Emu of the quilt on his bed.

The tree branch that Emu was on swayed gently, rocking him like the cradle he had when he was a baby.

But when he wanted to go home, he looked down at the ground below. It was far away. Why did he climb so high? Emu tried to make his feet and legs find the branch below the one he was on. But they seemed frozen and stiff. He was afraid.

"No one will know I'm here," he thought. "No one will come and help me get down." Then he thought of a poem:

Wherever you are, you are

never alone.

Because God is with you,

you're always at home.

At home? At the top of a tree?

But Emu remembered that he knew God was everywhere. So it must be true! Emu stopped looking at the ground and started thinking about how strong each branch was as he went up the tree. Then he took hold of the branch of the tree where he'd been sitting, and dangled his legs. His foot began to feel the tickle of the leaves, and his face felt the coolness of the breeze. He stepped down into the air, and soon his foot found the branch below.

"I'm not alone. God is with me. He guides my feet," Emu prayed, as he went down branch by branch.

He hugged the strong trunk of the tree and felt the smooth satin of the bark. Down and down he went, until his feet touched the ground.

That night Emu prayed a prayer he had learned in Sunday School:

Father-Mother God,

Loving me,-

Guard me when I sleep;

Guide my little feet

Up to Thee.

He thought about his new friend, the tree. The tree he had found. The tree that was never lost, only waiting to be discovered. Whose branches, like the arms of God, were open wide to help him up and help him down. Wherever he was, his feet would be guided.

Emu was always home when he was with God.

written by Mary Baker Eddy

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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