on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. – Revelation 22:2

Here, in the closing chapter of the large book we know as the Bible, we return to the Tree of Life from Genesis 2 at the very beginning of the story. This tree, which grew near the forbidden Tree of Knowledge, now appears as the long-sought healing in the human sojourn.

Hearing the passage, I am reminded of one mother’s message on Sunday morning as she told of a time her daughter ran afoul of a stinging nettle plant. Desperate, the mother called another Friend, one wise in the ways of the woods. “Find the nettle plant,” came the advice, “and near it will be another plant. Collect its leaves and make a poultice to apply to the itching skin.”

And it worked. There was healing in its leaves.

Note, too, the related message: Often in life we need to return to the scene of a conflict, rather than flee from it. The resolution will be found there.

*   *   *

The Apostle wishes their Perfection; and thus he concludes his Epistle to them … Finally Brethren, farewel, be perfect, &c. (Elizabeth Bathurst, 1655?-1685)


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