The tree in this picture has accepted the bolt for the chain to close the gate.  Maybe it hurt when the bolts were first hammered in – maybe the tree bled some sap – who knows.

But the tree didn’t give up and die because of its mistreatment it got on with the job of growing over its wound; beautifying the offending things, making the bolt and chain part of it.  

How forgiving is that?

 What a pity we humans are not like the tree, absorbing the hurts and then encompassing them and covering them with our own beauty of spirit so that the hurts are made beautiful.  That’s forgiveness!

 We could also look at it as if the tree was the Lord and we were the bolts and chain.  We were hammered into the flesh of Jesus when he was nailed to the cross.  His body accepted the wounds of our sin and sickness, and he encompassed us into himself and made us one with himself.  We became a thing of beauty because he covered us over, hiding us within himself. 

What extra–ordinary love!



Society almost seems obsessed with cleanliness.  We are urged to wash our hands before eating, after gardening and playing with pets, and after visiting the bathroom.  

 Sir Joseph Lister, 1883 – 1897 a British surgeon, pioneered the use of antiseptic surgery.  He successfully introduced the use of carbolic acid or phenol to sterilise surgical instruments making surgery and childbirth safer for patients. Today childbed fever as it was commonly known is hardly heard of due to the practice of cleanliness.

Covid-19 has made us wash our hands even more and practise cleanliness to the point of paranoia, but cleanliness has curbed the spread of the virus.

 We have come a long way with our cleansers these days.  But it seems the bugs too have morphed into super bugs calling for ever stronger cleansers.  With all this preoccupation with our physical cleanliness have we given a thought to what goes on with the inner person?  Is there a need to worry about the inner person?  And how does one cleanse the inner person?

 Yes, there is a need to cleanse the inner person to be whole and healthy.  We just need to listen to all the murders for one thing.  The remedy is a new heart and new mind.  This is called holistic living When the need for a new makeover is recognised and personal efforts fail, embrace Jesus Christ.  Accept his goodness as your own, swap your life for his life.  Wouldn’t that be a small price to pay to be clean on the inside as well as the outside, and be able to live a great life?



PAM SALTER SAYS… a good question.  One I have asked myself.  I don’t say if there is a God I say I know there is a God.  I don’t blame all the suffering on him.  We have brought a lot of the suffering on ourselves by our own actions and choices, pollution, and wrong living.  Sickness is one of the outcomes of our actions. I had a son with severe multiple disabilities and if anyone could question why this could be so it would be me.  But I don’t blame anyone, least of all God. The genetic material that God placed in us has become corrupted by the action of Adam and Eve.  It is not God’s will for us to be born into this world like this.  God can overcome all.  He is our saviour, our healer, the one to trust in all things.


RYAN DAVIS SAYS… I believe God created the heavens and the earth and put Adam and Eve in the Garden in relationship with him.  Everything in the garden was as it was meant to be. But then Adam and Eve fell out with God and that meant the devil then had room to wreck havoc on earth the consequences being suffering.  It meant there was sickness and broken relationships. God has sent Jesus into the world to heal relationship with himself and others so things can change and suffering be eliminated.

‘God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power, love, and self control.’ 2 Timothy 1: 7

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