photo by Ian W. Scott.
Becoming the Sycamore Tree
by David Skidmore, my brother.
as featured in Youth Specialties.
“At my church, we have a private preschool and kindergarten. In the nearby church courtyard is a playground. And on that playground is an off-limits tree. A big tree. A tempting tree. I mean, this is a Mount-Everest-of-a-tree to little, exploring eyes. It’s as though God chose a playground and placed a tree in the middle and declared, “On every other structure thou mayest climb, but on this tree thou mayest not climb, for on the day when thou dost, thou shalt surely… be placed in time-out… or something.”
Eventually a red line was painted above the second limb from the ground. The children were free to climb to that line, but everything above was forbidden territory. And ‘Mrs. Wanda’ (as the kids call her) guards that tree with a watchful eye that would impress an angel wielding a flaming sword.
But after hours — figuring Mrs. Wanda and her whistle have departed for wherever kindergarten teachers go until 8 a.m. the next day — some kids do climb above the red line. There’s something about that tree that beckons, ‘Come… and climb!’ to every adventurer.