Harrell Beck

The Wisdom of Harrell Beck

Getting Rid of the Static


"As you know, it was Martin Buber who hugged a tree[1] – and got caught in his backyard doing it!  So, I said to him, “Buber! I thought you were a monotheist!” He said, “I am! I also know that the same God who made the tree made me. We have the right, therefore, to be intimate.” I beg every one of you: hug a tree! Handle a rock! Put your hands in clean dirt once in a while. I know of no better way to get rid of the static.

So, someday, out in the front of your church – as the Pastor Parish Relations committee is meeting – put your arms around a tree and just stand there. “If that ain’t something!” says someone. “A pastor is over here hugging trees!”  And someone else would say, “That’s a relief!”

Harrell F. Beck From Priestly Listener to Prophetic Witness May 13, 1986


[1] Martin Buber on Nature, Tree, and Animal