I just had to have another look.
There, not far from the road, were trees.
Well, I suppose they were trees.
If they were, now they are nearly branchless.
One could only imagine what they might have been when they were tall and strong, filled with leaves.
Now, in the state they were in, any former beauty was removed.
Vines had crept up and covered them—completely.
Is it my imagination, or do they stand there, slightly bent, looking almost…sad?
How long did it take the crawling plants to overtake them?
Little by little, inch by inch, the process continued until there was nothing left of the original tree showing.
Like living statues, they silently gave testimony to the strength of their captor.
Have you ever taken "another look" at the people around you?
The hurting people, the homeless, the addicts and the emotionally depressed?
They used to be healthy and growing, moving forward in life.
Well, you might have supposed that they once were.
If they were, now they appear nearly hopeless.
You can only imagine what they might have been in the past.
In the current state they are in, any former beauty of life has been removed.
The shame of their actions or the actions of others toward them, may have crept up and covered them—completely.
Is it our imagination, or are they just standing there—at work or school, in the park or the grocery store, looking slightly bent over and…sad?
How long did it take the vines of disgrace and shame to overtake them?
Little by little, inch by inch, the process continued until there was nothing left untouched.
Like living statues, they go about each day giving silent testimony to their captor.
But must it be so?
While you and I are inadequate in removing guilt or shame from ourselves or anyone else, God is not.
Whether we feel the shame because of another’s deeds or our own, He is capable of ridding us of the choking vines that entwine our very existance. God’s complete and ultimate forgiveness, acceptance and love tear away the covering and expose a new and radiant life, possible only through Him.
I sought the LORD, and he answered me;
he delivered me from all my fears.
Those who look to him are radiant;
their faces are never covered with shame.
This poor man called, and the LORD heard him;
he saved him out of all his troubles.