"22 They came to Bethsaida, and some people brought a blind man and begged Jesus to touch him.23 He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. When he had spit on the man’s eyes and put his hands on him, Jesus asked, “Do you see anything?”
24 He looked up and said, “I see people; they look like trees walking around.”
25 Once more Jesus put his hands on the man’s eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly.26 Jesus sent him home, saying, “Don’t even go into[a] the village.” Mark 8:22-26
A certain cypress looms large over the park in which my mother played as a child, where I played as a child, and where my children learned to swing and have field trip picnics. It stands just across from where I said goodbye to my high school sweetheart when he left for college and where I now go running or take pictures of beautiful families wrapped in light. So a couple of weeks ago, I pointed my camera its direction and captured it. This tree is firmly planted, enduring storms and droughts and floods. It is healthy, nurtured by children's breathless CO2 emissions and the warmth and light of blue-skied days. The only thing that changes for this trees are the seasons. There it stands, displaying its glory as the beautiful cypress that it is. It is itself. Although somewhat enigmatic, trees are very often used symbolically throughout the whole of scripture. From those two trees in Eden to the Tree of Life in Revelation, the Bible is rife with tree imagery. Trust me on this. I keep trying to figure out what it all really means. So I don't really know what message Jesus was trying to send with his two step healing in this passage from the Gospel of Mark. Maybe you can tell me. But I do know that over and over, God speaks to me with tree imagery. Maybe He wants me to stand tall, grow roots, impart shade and refuge to those around me. Maybe He wants me to know the gifts of resilience and provision He's given me, to know the freedom that comes with being firmly planted. Maybe He wants me to be myself where He has planted me, even if that means staying put.