Subtle Gospel Message Portrayed ~ Flowering Dogwoods

Dogwood Portrait

Dogwood Portrait

Drive or stroll past the woods in Mississippi during spring and you are sure to find flowering dogwood.  Although very lovely, like the trees on which they grow, their blossoms are comparatively timid.  Partial shade-loving, dogwoods grow best hidden under the shadows of their larger woodland companions.

The forested landscapes near my home are currently speckled with white dogwoods.  However, to get these close-up photos of the flowers, I needed a tree with low-lying branches.  Unfortunately, most of them were above my reach, but after diligent search, I found one that cooperated.

Dogwood Cross

Dogwood Cross

Legend has it that the Romans used wood from dogwood to make the cross of Christ, but the story has no Scriptural support. However, the blooms lend themselves nicely to the tale and certainly have a hint of the Passion.

Consider the cross shape of the flowers with blood-like stains on their edges, their fluted striations resembling stripes and the wounded appearance of the petal ends.  It does make for convincing comparisons to the account of how Jesus died. 

Subtle Hints

Subtle Hints

The dogwood legend is likely just that.  However, blooming as they do around Easter, the flowers will always remind me of the cross.  Within them, there is a subtle hint of the Gospel message.

Subtle Gospel Message Portrayed

Hidden dogwood tree,
Boldly lower your branches.
Reveal your story;
For the lost, don’t take chances. 

Although just legend,
Golgotha’s wood was yours,
It’s worth repeating,
Since nobody knows for sure.

Revisit the tale
About your lovely flowers.
How cross-like they form
Amid gentle spring showers.

Blooms that hint of Christ;
His Passion, of which we’ve heard.
Petals bearing wounds,
Reminding what He endured.

So, tell it once more;
Dying onlookers to sway.
A portrait of Him;
Subtle gospel you portray.


“But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed.”
Isaiah 53:5

Dogwood B&W

Dogwood B&W

Words and photos by Sue Nash/ © 2014

For similar posts, follow this link to Easter


16 thoughts on “Subtle Gospel Message Portrayed ~ Flowering Dogwoods

  1. Rene Yoshi

    Your images are masterful, and your poem and post beautiful! Don’t you love all the little signs God has included in His designs before the creation of the world and before Christ was even born and crucified? We serve an awesome God! \(^_^)/

  2. Teri Metts

    Beautiful photos and touching poem, as always, Sue! I had heard the legend of the Dogwood before, and like you realize it’s probably only that; even so, every time I see a Dogwood tree, I think of Christ and the cross. In more recent years, I’ve had trouble finding Dogwoods to photograph – only seeing them as we’ve passed by on the interstate. Last year, however, while visiting Sarah, I was able to capture some beautiful photographs of Dogwood blossoms in Huntsville. There, as opposed to in the woods, it seemed Dogwoods were growing in every other yard.

    1. heavenlyraindrops Post author

      They are so pretty. I have an English dogwood and am trying to root a cutting. Kind of finicky to grow one. Thanks. I’ll take a look at your photos from last year- on your website, I assume?

  3. lilkaraphael

    Sue, I really loved this. The dogwood is one of my favorites probably because my mom told me that same “tale” as I child. She still has three in her yard my father planted over forty years ago! There are a few pink varieties in Georgia yards but I never see any available for purchase. Your photos and words are beautiful as always. Thanks so much and have a wonderful week!


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