Thursday, July 26

reflections on plants, people and sanctuary

A potted plant is one which is trained, groomed, doted over and requires great attention for it to grow at all.   As it sits, it becomes dependent on outside sources for water and food.   With its roots bound and all the tender care pored over it, the plant can never grow to its full potential.

To grow, thrive and succeed, a tree must be planted outside in the ground where wind, water, fire, insects, disease and drought threaten to kill it.  It must be tested and tried, forced to become independent and find creative ways to survive.

It is easy and right to wish to provide a safe haven for those who we see as troubled, but there is a danger in this.  Temporary refuge to hold people over is like watering the trees in the ground, giving them emotional water and spiritual food so that they may have respite. If that sanctuary becomes more than an emergency measure, then each day the people run the risk of sacrificing their independence, limiting their potential and even causing developmental dieback as they surrender parts of themselves for the illusion of security.

Better, then, to meet people in the field...water, feed and tend to them there and allow them to flourish in their own way and in their own time. That is where compassion is.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent observation. Now that book of ideas you were talking about? Where does this fit?