While traveling through the winding mountain roads of Tennessee with my husband I noticed white flowered trees blooming everywhere in the forest. He stopped the car and I walked over to one. My suspicions were confirmed, they were wild dogwood trees. I picked a flower and returned to show him. “Have you ever heard the legend of the Dogwood tree?”, I asked. He hadn’t so I told him this…
You see, while scripture does not record what type of wood the cross was made of, tradition usually identifies it as dogwood. I can remember looking over the unique characteristics of the blooming dogwood planted in our yard as a little girl and being told the lore that connects it to the precious blood stained cross of Calvary. The lore that is so eloquently chronicled in this timeless poem.
The Legend of the Dogwood
In Jesus time, the dogwood grew
To a stately size and a lovely hue.
‘Twas strong & firm it’s branches interwoven
For the cross of Christ its timbers were chosen.
Seeing the distress at this use of their wood
Christ made a promise which still holds good:
“Never again shall the dogwood grow
Large enough to be used so
Slender & twisted, it shall be
With blossoms like the cross for all to see.
As blood stains the petals marked in brown
The blossom’s center wears a throny crown.
All who see it will remember me
Crucified on a cross from the dogwood tree.
Cherished and protected this tree shall be
A reminder to all of my agony.”
Though I cannot say how much truth there is to this lore, as it is not confirmed by scripture, I can say this. Once I heard it I have never again set eyes upon a dogwood’s blood stained blossoms without remembering my savior’s loving sacrifice. Every aspect of this amazing tree takes me back to what Christ did for us so long ago on Calvary. What a preciously beautiful way to say “Remember Me” then with the delicate blossom of a dogwood tree.