Thursday, February 21, 2013

Lent 2013, IV

IV. I think I like the living plant analogy better than the wooden board analogy. A living plant can’t really see itself to know whether it is growing straight or not. All it knows is that it is trying to grow towards the strongest light it can find. It was meant to grow towards the sun, but if something confuses it that natural tendency twists it to grow in a warped, stunted shape. The lesser light distracts it from the true light. Unlike a dead plank, which must be straightened by force from the outside, (we used to do this as kids to make longbows, you soak the wood, force it into a frame holding it in the desired shape, and let it dry that way over days or weeks) a living plant can only be corrected by gentler means. You can try to force it, but as soon as you remove the constraint it will keep growing in a disordered way, because the wrong light is still strongest. Turn off the fluorescent lights and put it in a place where it can freely see the true light, and it will correct itself. Its own natural love of the light is what caused it to warp in the first place, and it is the only thing that can correct it. It cannot be corrected from the outside, it must, in a sense, cooperate from within in its own healing.

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