I am Paul (not the Apostle). Before I talk about the tree, kindly give me a moment to put it into its proper perspective…
I am a follower of Christ.
This means that I depend on someone else to pay for my sins, because I simply cannot do so myself. That someone else is Jesus Christ, and he is qualified because he was the only sinless man ever to walk the Earth. Only a sinless being is good enough to pay ransom for the world’s collective sins, and for individual sinners like me. He did so on the cross. He is also the Son of Yahweh, and together with the Holy Spirit they make up the Trinity, the one-God-in-three-persons who I believe we all have to answer to one day. Jesus rose from his death after three days and continued with the inauguration of his Kingdom. His Kingdom is here, but not yet. This philosophy directs my worldview, and consequently the writings on this site.
I also love to write.
For me it is a way to organise my own thoughts, to declutter the ebbs and flows of ideas formed by reading, listening, conversing, observing and thinking.
There are many things that go through our minds every day; they can be random, often mundane, sometimes conflicting, and every now and again they’re profound. Writing helps me sift through mine.
These two first points are important because, on this site, it is through writing that I wish to navigate the journey of following Christ. It is a way of wrestling, drifting, wondering and wandering through this life, experiencing it through the Christian worldview. I do this as a way of reflection, of thinking, of contemplating this journey of life we’re all on.
There are also a number of guest contributors who post here guided by similar motivations.
No I can put the tree in its proper perspective.
Why a Tamarisk tree?
The Bible mentions a Tamarisk tree on several important occasions. I want to zero in on what Abraham did under one:
Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba and called there on the name of the Lord, the Everlasting God. And Abraham sojourned many days in the land of the Philistines. Genesis 21:33–34 (ESV).
Let’s start with the last emphasis first. Abraham was a sojourner in a strange land for a long time before he eventually settled down and took possession of the land that God gave him.
That is not unlike us as Christ followers. We are also sojourning, like Abraham, in a place which is not our ultimate place of residence. We do not tie our ultimate purpose and destination up with life on this planet.
We are in this world, but not of it – as Jesus made clear when he prayed for us his followers in John 17:1-16.
We keep our eyes on the King and maintain an eternal perspective, yet not without having life in abundance through him – like he encourages in John 10:10.
But life does not end when we die on earth. We dwell and sojourn here on our way to the place prepared for us by Jesus Christ in his Father’s house – like he promises in John 14:1-3.
So we sojourn.
But it was also Under The Tamarisk Tree that Abraham called upon the name of the Lord. And hence the name of this website.
Similarly, writing (and inviting others to write with me) is a way to call upon the name of the Lord, to help me think through the practicalities of his teachings and ponder his wisdom for application in this beautiful but broken world that we’re living in.