For years I admired the tall, stately ash tree as I drove into town. It was one of the first trees to show color in the fall. It almost appeared to burst into flame, its yellow and orange leaves were so vibrant.
All too sadly, this once amazing tree has fallen victim to the Emerald Ash Borer. A beetle only about ½ inch long, it lays its eggs on the bark of the ash tree. The eggs hatch and bore into the living tissue (cambium) layer of the tree.
Left undisturbed, the larvae eat the living tissue, undetected, until the tree dies.
It is amazing how such small things can do so much damage. I was at a baseball game the other day, and watched an athletic young player strike out. He looked to the stands at his father for some sign of reassurance. The father harshly yelled, “You should have seen that pitch was going inside.” You could feel the man’s words penetrate the young boy. As he walked, head down, into the dugout, I thought about the ash borer – such a small thing that can do so much damage. Our words can be just as destructive.
Lord, help my words be those that bless.