If Trees Could Walk

And they came to Bethsaida. And they brought a blind man to Jesus and implored Him to touch him. Taking the blind man by the hand, He brought him out of the village; and after spitting on his eyes and laying His hands on him, He asked him, “Do you see anything?” And he looked up and said, “I see men, for I see them like trees, walking around.” Then again He laid His hands on his eyes; and he looked intently and was restored, and began to see everything clearly. Mark 8:22-25, (NASB)

How does it feel to be thought of as a walking tree? Not the greatest of analogies don’t you think? Let’s examine what that might look like? Trees are a wonderful gift to mankind. They come in a range of shapes, sizes, colours and textures. According to the World Resources Institute there are approximately 100,000 known species of tree in the world. Some are evergreen: providing colour and beauty all year round; whilst others are deciduous furnishing us with autumnal shades of reds, gold, ochre and russet that speak loudly of change that winter brings.

Trees offer shade in the heat, delicious fruit, herbal remedies, spices from barks and berries and wood that can be cut into any shape and size for furniture, scaffolding, flooring, fences, frames for houses. Trees are so versatile- just like us! This blog however, is not about trees, it is about us and how we sometimes treat others as if they are trees.

Men and trees are very different, let us not forget that. We have the breath of life contained within us and we are precious living souls made in the image of God. By contrast, trees have a utilitarian purpose for us. God handed the whole of nature to man as part of his inheritance. His original plan was for us to be fruitful and multiply (Genesis 1:27-29) and to have unbroken fellowship with him as our Creator. The only things we have in common with trees are: 1) we have been created by God and 2) we have been called to be fruitful and multiply.

Stick with me on this journey while I make this point. When we see people as trees and walking ones at that, we are not seeing our fellow man in the way God intended us to see them. We may see others as useful to us: meeting our basic needs, but not the same as Us. The picture of a walking tree makes this image even more absurd! In the biblical sense “walking” refers to our way of life, our terms of reference: how we relate to others, our values, morals and priorities. The Christian walk has God as its central reference point. He directs our paths, orders our steps and leads us in accordance with his will for us. Psalms 1 provides us with a blueprint for how we should walk, stand and sit with those who do not follow him.

So picture if you will, your husband, wife, girlfriend, boyfriend, friend, son, daughter, parents, brother, sister, colleague and neighbour, how do you see them? Do we see them as fellow human being, children of God who are fearfully and wonderfully made? Or do you see them as trees that need to be cut down and cut up before they can be made into something useful for us?

Forgiveness has everything to do with seeing people like trees walking. After you stopped and thought about the important relationships in your life and have concluded that you not treating them as people made in the image of God, join with me and ask for God’s forgiveness. Ask him for a second touch so that you can see everything and everyone clearly, remember- others may also be seeing You as a tree too!

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