From the Devotional section

The Healer’s Tree

A Bible-based Resource on Ecology, Peace & Justice

by Annie Heppenstall


Price: £9.99
Publisher:Wild Goose Publications
Published:Autumn 2011
As with many Wild Goose publications, the introductory material is an integral part of the book and only on reading that will the rest of the book reach its full impact.
Annie Heppenstall has written these 28 reflections in a ‘journey sequence’. Perhaps daily over a month – or during a season – Advent, Lent, the Creation Season I would suggest that they also provide a really constructive framework for (especially non-eucharistic) worship.
Her title comes from the Saxon poem The Dream of the Rood, in which the tree grows to become the Cross – the ‘gateway for people to come to Christ’s healing love’. From the Garden of Eden, through the Yggdrasil – the tree of life – to legends associated with a number of Celtic saints and finally to the riverbank – coming home – each section begins from a verse or two of Scripture, opening out into a meditation/reflection, some suggestions for further reflection then lead us into a closing thought – again scriptural – and a final sentence.
Personal favourites are ‘All that breathes, praise the Lord’ focussing on Caedmon of Whitby, called by some the first poet of the English language, and ‘St Kevin and God’s mercy’, bringing back very happy memories of a visit to Glendalough in the mid-1990s. But one of the most moving relates to Elijah in the desert and his experiences of awesome natural forces – earthquake, wind and fire – before the breathtaking silence of God’s presence.
Annie Heppenstall’s glorious pen and ink drawings not only beautify the book but also complement and enhance the text. This is a book that you will come back to repeatedly and each time find a new pearl upon which to ponder.
I cannot recommend it too highly.

Listen to this review

Reviewer: Nick Horton   (13/12/11)
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