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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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The Healing Tree

May 26, 2009 Leave a comment

In the center of a certain village there was a special tree, a healing tree. All who ate of the fruit of the tree were healed from their ailments, from broken bones and lethal cancers to bug bites and bruises. The people of the village were divided as to who should have access to the tree. Some felt that the tree was for everyone so that all who so desired could be healed. Others felt that the tree was intended only for them and a select few “outsiders” who they deemed worthy of healing. Regardless of how the villagers felt about the tree, the good news of its healing qualities spread far and wide. Visitors came from all around to eat of its fruit. If a visitor chanced to run into an “all are welcome” villager, they needed only to ask and they would be brought directly to the tree. If they chanced to encounter an “only the elite” villager, they would be greeted with equal kindness until they asked about the tree, at which point they would be thrown out of the village! Try as they might, the “elite” villagers could not keep all outsiders away from the tree. In addition to being helped by the “all are welcome” villagers, some visitors would simply sneak their way to the healing tree and steal away with its fruit. The more that was taken from the tree, the more that it produced, and in that way nothing was lost, only gained. Knowing that some “outsiders” were accessing the tree and being healed without their consent, the “elite” villagers reasoned with themselves that either a few outsiders really did belong and that they just didn’t know it, or they reasoned that they weren’t really being healed. In time, the villagers who wanted to ostracize the outsiders from the tree became so wrapped up in their crusade that they neglected to go to the tree for their own needs, even to the point of death!