Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Un-Girdling Life

     A beautiful tree in my yard suffered when I left a rope tied to its trunk. Years of illness leave many things undone, and gardening was one of them.
     The tree continued to grow around the rope until it was so embedded, it caused girdling, a condition where the entire trunk is cut off from nutrients and water needed from the roots. It's a circular interruption in the bark and most important top layers of the tree's trunk.
     The only way to save the tree was to cut into the trunk and remove the rope. I used a small knife to do this and found black mold and disease around the entire area. The instructions I found for repairing the trunk involved cutting away at the area to smooth the edges and then cutting an oval shape within a few inches of the wound. It seems like a lot of cutting when all I wanted to do was minimize the damage and slap some gooey salve on.
     Although it seems soothing, the salve is not good for any tree and can deter healing. The cutting--well that's what will instigate the tree to heal itself from within. But the area below where the rope strangled the trunk was much thinner than above. The tree looked like a good wind would surely break the weakest spot. Still, I damaged and scraped.
     This spring, I noticed the trunk still looks awful, but the black area is almost gone, and the trunk took the long winter dormancy and grew out from where I so painfully cut away. It's almost the same thickness all around and has promising buds ready to burst. Even the last ferocious wind storm we had didn't sway it from remaining upright.
     Un-girdle your life. Although we hate pain and trials, they will heal us from the inside out.
Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. ~Romans 5:3-5 NIV

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