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Misrepresenting the Healing Tree

June 4, 2009 Leave a comment

There was a certain village with a tree with fruit that could bring healing to all who ate of it. As has been described in other stories, the residents of the village were divided as to who should have access to the healing power of the tree. Some felt that the tree was only for the villagers plus a few select “outsiders” while others felt it should be available to everyone. Among those who believed that the tree was for everyone, there were many ideas about how the tree could best be used, often for some sort of personal gain. Some devised ways to convince others, mostly outsiders, that they must pay money to access the tree. Some villagers convinced others that the only way to be worthy of accessing the tree was to first perform certain acts of kindness. More times than not, these good deeds mostly benefited those who requested them. Some villagers convinced others that anyone who approached the tree must first make himself clean. Many of the sickest people, those who needed the fruit of the tree most, were convinced they were unworthy and so they either relied on “clean” villagers to get the fruit for them or they gave up altogether. Recognizing the power of the tree but not having much power of their own, some villagers made a big show out of the healing power of the fruit. They set up large tents with lots of chairs and a stage and they invited many to come and watch the healing take place. There was lots of cheering and clapping. This was done to bring glory to the villagers on stage, and not to the tree itself. Some villagers felt so strongly that the tree should be accessed by all that they physically dragged some people to the tree and tried to force-feed the fruit to others, even those who absolutely did not want to be healed. Worst of all, however, were the villagers who set up fake trees made to look like the healing tree. They convinced others to come to these trees and eat their fruit. Some of this fruit would make its eaters feel good for a while but would never bring real healing. Most of this fruit would actually make those who ate it worse off than they were before. These fake trees had many variations and the villagers who set them up did so for lots of reasons. In any case, all the villagers described here committed a great injustice against the real tree and deterred many outsiders from ever wanting to approach the healing tree themselves.

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