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The Almond Tree (Poem)

A little almond tree stood in the park.
Dead and shriveled it seemed to my blurred vision as I passed it by;
Dead and shriveled seemed all the trees, as they lifted their bare twisted fingers
Beseeching voicelessly for they knew not what.
Winter still held all nature in an icy clutch,
Dun clouds hung thick and low, hiding the sun.
The people who passed me trudged heavily, with bowed shoulders as in fear,
And in every face I saw only the lines of grief or sin:
With eyes and ears I perceived only a great agonized cry of emptiness:
For my eyes and ears were stopped with lies,
As I journeyed wearily homeward
My heart filled with empty hardness,
And a veil over my sight:
For I was judging with merciless judgment
My brother who had erred.
But all unseen, One walked with me as I went, blessing me.
He saw the people and the trees, and blessed them, each and all.
He saw the little almond tree and gave thanks, Glorifying God.
In my home I found Him already awaiting me
This Holy One, who also walked with me, whispering to me of what he saw;
Then I prayed—I listened to His voice;
There at the veil of false vision melted from my sight again;
The hardness melted also, and my heart was filled with loving-kindness.
Then, straightway my eyes and my ears were unstopped,
And I saw the Holy One standing beside me, blessing me;
And beside my brother who had erred, blessing him;
And, lo, my brother who had erred, passed from me, and was not.
And I lifted my eyes, seeing truly.
And I saw my Brother who had never erred,
For he too was holy—And I gave thanks,
l Glorifying God.
Today I journeyed with joy to the work awaiting me.
The sun shone, and I blessed the sun and the shining of it:
I Passed by the trees in the park, and blessed them also:
I saw God’s perfect sons and daughters go by, and I blessed them each and all:
And as I passed the little almond tree I saw that it was glorious with blossom.

—From—Active Service

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Gertrude M. Bradley

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