How a Dogwood Tree Points To A True Legacy


Dogwood Tree and the Cross

A dogwood tree sat at the end of my grandparent’s tree-lined driveway. It shaded the extra parking pad and was rear-ended more than once over the years. But it stood strong.

My granddaddy sometimes tinkered with cars on that cement parking pad. One spring day I took a break from “baking” mud pies to visit him under the dogwood tree.

It was hard to miss the dogwood’s velvety white petals hanging overhead. Noticing my curiosity, granddaddy picked me up and slowly bent the branch toward us so I could get a closer look. “Are the flowers bleeding?” I asked. He went on to share how some see the dogwood bloom as a picture of the cross of Christ.

He quietly pointed to the center bloom. It looked like a crown – but not one made of gold. The green cluster symbolized the crown of thorns placed on Jesus’ head. Pulling the branch a little closer, he told me to feel the smooth petals. They felt like cream tasted. He talked about Jesus and the excruciating pain He had taken upon Himself for us. How He was nailed to a cross, died, and arose from the ground on the third day. Granddaddy always got a little misty-eyed when he talked about Jesus.

I can see why some refer to the dogwood blossom as a picture of Jesus on the cross but the best example of Jesus was holding me in his arms. While not perfect {except in the eyes of his family}, grandaddy exemplified what it meant to have a quiet and gentle spirit. If he couldn’t speak kindly about anyone, he didn’t speak at all. And he recited “Little Red Riding Hood” with ease while tickling my back as a little girl when trying to get me to sleep. We lost granddaddy too soon but I’m thankful for the twenty-seven years I had with him.

The Cross of ChristFast-forward to today and you’ll still find many who know and talk about the Legend of the Dogwood. But I don’t think of a “legend” when I see its gnarly branches and red-stained petals. I think of Jesus and how He took our twisted sins upon Himself, ushering in a new life — an abundant one — as a result.

And I think of granddaddy who loved Jesus, and his ten-year-old granddaughter enough to stop what he was doing that warm spring day and share the beauty of God’s love through a gnarly dogwood tree.

What one thing can you stop doing today in order to share the beauty of Christ this Easter season?


The Easter Story

Cathy Baker

Cathy Baker is an award-winning writer and author of Pauses for the Vacationing Soul: A Sensory-Based Devotional Guide for the Beach as well as Pauses for the Vacationing Soul: A Sensory-Based Devotional Guide for the Mountains. As a twenty-five-year veteran Bible instructor, she's led hundreds of studies and workshops. She's also contributed to numerous anthologies and publications, including Chicken Soup for the Soul, The Upper Room, and Focus on the Family’s Thriving Family. In addition, her poetry can be found in several popular anthologies. She and her husband, Brian, live in the foothills of the Carolinas where she one day hopes to have her very own Goldendoodle. Subscribe to Cathy's blog and receive a free e-book, Praying In Every Room of Your Home.

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  1. I love the metaphor of the dogwood! I chose it for the cover of my Bible study about symbols of Jesus. You tell it beautifully. Thank you for sharing it!

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