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Blog: Lee Younger

Redwood Trees

CCC Oak Ridge

The other day, someone talked about Jack in a not-so-nice way. The poor little guy was just minding his own business, playing with toys, when this person just started criticizing him in a questioning tone of supposed concern. Christy was totally taken off guard when it happened and then a few minutes later, the shock of the whole thing rolled over into a motherly, brokenhearted confusion. Who in the world criticizes an irresistibly adorable toddler?! To be honest, it ticked me off, and I’m still sort of fuming from it.  

This emotion is a part of fatherhood that I hadn’t really planned on. That is, when I am completely overcome by a primal and furious, blinding rage that eclipses all sense when someone hurts one of my children. So far I haven’t been arrested; but then again, my kids are still very young and I am still very new at this. Another case in point: For some reason, people used to talk about my Norah a lot. They called her “wild” and said things like, “Well, you can tell she’s the middle child.” or, “That’s the one you’re gonna have to look out for.” People would spend a few minutes with Norah here and there and then think they had her figured out and boiled down; as if you can type-cast anything so incredibly and beautifully complex as a person.  

I listened to people sum up my little girl, and though it caused an internal firestorm within me, I didn’t want Norah to see it. I figured, “Well, she’s so young that she probably doesn’t get what they’re saying about her, so I don’t want to influence her against them.” The only thing is, Christy and I were (and are) convinced that Norah did know exactly what was going on, and it broke our hearts for her. So around the time of Norah’s 4th birthday, I decided to handle the situation in the only way I really know how to process difficult emotional confusion… that is, I wrote a 3 minute pop song about it. 

The song is called “Redwood Trees” and it goes like this: 

REDWOOD TREES

Under my roof and the ceiling , right above the ground

Is the onliest girl behind blue eyes and curls who could bring it all crashing down

I’ve known her for years and I’ve wiped away tears

But I don’t think that I’ve scratched the surface

Everyone thinks they see, but she’s a deep mystery

And no one really knows it, but

 

Her heart is softer than the warmest summer breeze

And her love is stronger than them ancient Redwood trees

 

She runs fast and falls hard and folks who don’t know call her ‘wild’

Like anyone could know a girl from a phrase like, ‘the classic middle child’

And stubborn and clumsy, I’m hopeless as can be at learning to love well

But she’s gentle and kisses me, loves and forgives me

When I don’t do so well by

 

Her heart is fragile and she wears it on her sleeve

And her love is stronger than them ancient Redwood trees

 

Her heart is lovely like an old-time melody

And her love is stronger than them ancient Redwood trees

 

Happy Birthday, Norah Rose.

 

There is a place in the Old Testament, way back when Moses was leading the children of Israel out of bondage, where God displays this same Fatherly affection. All of the regional feudal lords in between Egypt and Canaan were frightened of this massive, nomadic horde Moses was leaing through the wilderness. One such ruler called Balak actually hired a local prophet named Balaam to pronounce a curse over Moses’ ragtag bunch of wanderers. Balak and Balaam climbed a hill overlooking the Israelite camp. The money was paid, the sacrifices were burned and just when Balaam was about to open his mouth to pronounce his curse, Almighty God commandeered the voice of the prophet-for-hire, and Balaam said, “How beautiful are your tents, Jacob, your dwelling places, Israel! Like valleys they spread out, like gardens beside a river, like aloes planted by the LORD, like cedars beside the waters. Water will flow from their buckets; their seed will have abundant water.”

Whatever anyone thinks of you; no matter who hates you or talks about you, there is One who is crazy about you. Your Father in heaven sees you and loves you completely. No matter what anyone else sees in you, or thinks or says, God Almighty delights in you as His very own treasure.