When he started this whole tree-cutting business in the woods, he told me, "Don't worry, I'll clean everything up. We don't waste wood--we use it all. This process leaves the woods healthier than before I began." Just when I'd begun to think I'd imagined the whole conversation, I ran into another abutter whose family rides (or used to ride) their horses in the woods. Apparently, they were told the same thing.
The forester lied.
He's gone, not coming back, and he's left a horrific mess. The paths that were once spectacularly beautiful (see photo...look closely, you'll spot Tasha) are now close to impassable. They're either loaded with downed trees and cut branches, or they're pitted with 2-3 feet deep holes caused by his heavy earth-mover.
It's treacherous for walking, even worse for the horses. My neighbor knows the landowner, and hopes he'll be granted permission to use his bulldozer to clear the paths. The landowner lives out of state, and given that the woods are "landlocked," the only commercial use for them are logging. With the debris left around most of the land, we're not sure how healthy the remaining trees will be.
Okay, I know--not my woods. But I also know I've been a good steward of this beauty, as have my neighbor and the other hikers and horseback riders. (No comment on the occasional 4-wheeler.) The point is, such a tangle of branches, trunks, and mud is chaos, not good foresting.
And to push this beyond a simple whine, I have to consider the forester's work in light of my own walk of faith. It's one thing to cut out obvious sin but it's another to do the hard work of clearing the debris. Those logs (or planks in my eye) are easy to spot, but that tangle of consequences easier to hide or just walk away from.
Now that the forester is gone, I need to sing praises again out in those woods. And let God bless as He will.