Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Above the Blue

While digging a pond on my property the other day, I saw a slightly odd-looking small puddle of blue water. It was barely noticeable, but stood out just enough to make me curious.

The opening line of the theme song from Beverly Hillbillies started playing in my mind as I looked at that blue water. All hopes of striking oil were soon dashed when I learned why the little puddle of water was blue.

In the middle of that puddle was a root from an oak tree that had taken a pretty serious flesh wound from my shovel. The root was bleeding blue. It was explained to me that certain oak trees will bleed blue when they have had a nail, barbed wire fence, or any type of metal penetration that rusted inside the tree.

As to the source of this information, allow me to insert a disclaimer. The individual that I learned this "blue tree phenomenon" from is a walking dictionary and seems to have a lot of knowledge about a lot of stuff that would cause most of us to scratch our heads. However, he's also the kind of guy that would pull a practical joke on his preacher!

So, the disclaimer is: I have no proof to back up this theory nor am I one hundred percent certain that my dear friend wouldn't relish in the prospect of making me look foolish.

That said...I couldn't help but think about this blue-bleeding root. One rusty nail can discolor the inside of a tree. One rusty barb left embedded in a tree can fester to the point that an imbalance occurs.

The mirror held up to ourselves reflects a similar image. One hurtful comment hammered into your heart can discolor you on the inside if left there. One violation that sinks its barbs into your psyche and stays there can color your view of you, of others, and of God.

How do you rise above "the blues"? The same way the tree does. My source says that the tree is only affected from the point of entry down. Everything above the nail or the barbed wire shows no sign of change. The tree grows above the wound. And it doesn't carry any residual ooze from that wound with it as it grows.

The testimony of the tree speaks to me. Wounds may not leave our history and will always be a part of our personal story, but they do not have to color who we are or what we can accomplish today or tomorrow. Nor should they distort our view. The tree lets the wound stay in the past while it keeps rising taller, enjoying a greater view of the world as it grows each day. We should do the same.

"...that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height--to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God" (Ephesians 3:17-19).

Growing Above the Wounds,
Perry Crisp

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