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  • Writer's pictureBield at Blackruthven

Better Safe Than Sorry?

When you look at this picture what do you see? What emotion does it evoke in you? What words would you use to describe that emotion?

Now look again, try to look more closely and discern every detail of the picture. As you spend more time with the image how does the way you feel change? What do you see that you didn’t see before?

Perhaps like some of you, what I first saw here was the cage, made of wooden stakes and two different layers of wire mesh. Perhaps this tree is rare, or particularly vulnerable or precious. Whatever the explanation, and I am sure there is one, what first struck me was the extent of the barrier between me and the plants on the other side, the way in which I felt separated from them. It took a lot of effort for me to look beyond the cage and to appreciate the beauty of the delicate flower and sapling.

Now look at this second image and repeat the same exercise. How is the way this picture makes you feel different from the first image?

As we learn to live with Carona virus, difficult decisions balancing exposure to risk and the desire to protect life need to be made not just by governments, but also be each one of us as we decide what to do and what not to do each day and in each new situation.

I cannot help but reflect on the picture below and wonder what is better, to be exposed and free to share life in all its beauty, or to be protected but trapped and mostly hidden. What would bring the most fulfilment and delight? I am sure God is as much with one tree as the other, but as Matthew 5:15 says, “No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house.”

This image reminds me to be mindful of barriers that I might be tempted to erect that could hamper that God given light from shining out, risky as that may be.


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