Friday, September 3, 2010

Sin in the Small Town or How I Recognize An Old Enemy

Tonight I thought to myself, "Sin in the Small Town!". You see, tonight I met an old with whom we had a hearty fight about four years ago. We won that battle, but not without suffering a few scars during the fight.

You see, I found this in our flower bed tonight. Green Misery masquerading as Green Beauty. Trying to fool me. Trying to cause me misery.

I figure the nasty things that came into this world through Adam's sin include not only sin and death, but also chaos of the created world. I figure before the Fall all plant life was benign and useful and just plain lovely. Sin changed all that.

To quote the writer of Genesis 1:31, "God saw everything that He had made, and it was very good." When, because of Adam's sin, death and chaos entered into this world, I figure plant life, too, left its originally perfect state and entered into misery.

Right now, there's plenty in Creation that is not "good". I don't need to draw you a long list. But I will show you this nasty plant, masquerading as green loveliness in my flower beds. Isn't it Green with a capital G? Who would think by its outward appearance that it could be such an enemy?

Our previous battle with Poison Ivy included numerous plants on a rental property. This is a Single Plant in my flower bed. Perhaps some bird dropped a seed. Who knows. But there it was, in the midst of my flowers, trying to fool me, hoping I would come close and touch and be contaminated by its poisonous oil. Isn't that how sin works in our lives? It looks lovely. It entices us with its beauty to come closer. Just coming close to it is the first step in being contaminated with its nasty consequence.

But I've battled this one before. I know better than to touch, no matter how casually. I grabbed a plastic grocery bag and used it as a "second glove" over my gardening gloves and yanked that baby Ivy out by the roots. Then I enclosed it in the bag and put that in a larger garbage bag for disposal.

And then I rinsed my clippers, gloves and shoes under cold water from the outdoor faucet. You see the plant secretes a nasty oil that can contaminate everything you touch and which does not deteriorate. Put those contaminated gloves in the garage all winter and the poisonous oil is still there next spring, ready to produce rash and pain if you simply touch it.

And since I was not certain that I had not brushed up against those lovely green leaves in even the slightest way, I tossed all my clothing and the gloves into the wash the moment I entered the house. I wanted to be extra careful (to the point of paranoia perhaps!!!) so I stripped in front of the washing machine (please do not be too visually minded here!!!), tossed the clothes in for a cold rinse, then a second wash with soap. And I jumped into the shower to rinse myself with cold water, then with soap, hoping to remove any possible ivy oil from my skin before it could produce painful rash.

My last big gun against this plant attack was to use a topical prescription cream on a mosquito bite that I had scratched...just in case! Thank you, Mr. Dermatologist of previous experience. The next few days will determine whether or not I used sufficient precaution!

Someday, sin and death will be done away with. Jesus came to destroy the works of the Devil and that means there will be an end to sin and death. I John 3:7 ".....The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil."

And creation itself, all of creation...the plant world, the animal kingdom, all will be set free from the after-effects of the Fall.

Romans 8:21-24 "....the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. 23And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24For in this hope we were saved. ..."

In the meantime...when you encounter this plant...recognize it for what it is...a nasty plant that will cause you nasty rash and pain. Read more here about how to successfully deal with exposure to Poison Ivy.



S. Etole said...

Great analogy ...

Laurie M. said...

We don't get poison ivy around here. We get poison oak - but I guess you knew that already. Anyway, I've never once been affected by it. Don't know whether it's because I've never brushed up against it, or because I'm not allergic (some aren't, you know). But whatever the case, I can't say either about sin.

Caroline said...

This year we have had a bumper crop of poison ivy locally. Its everywhere... I used to get it in a corner of my garden and it would appear in my neighbor's as well. I actually use a special spray for it (but usually don't use chemicals in my garden) to get rid of it. I once unknowingly 'waded' in it and had blisters up my legs for days. Good luck to you!

Disjecta Membra said...

What an excellent post! Very well put. Thank you.

Chez said...

I agree with S. Etole it is a great analogy WhiteStone.
As this is not a plant that I am familiar with, I find that, once again, I am being educated and I thank you for that.
Personally, I have become a little paranoid regarding anything that could see me being rushed off to ED. We have a family history of severe allergies so it is ALWAYS BEWARE.
Many thanks for this interesting, informative post WhiteStone

Debby said...

Very good analogy.

I was working in the brush one day, back when I was doing the mosquito work, and talking to a couple who were concerned about the mosquitoes from a small swamp across the road from their house. His wife noticed that we were brushing against poison ivy. I never even noticed. I thought, "Well this will be an interesting experience, because I have never had a poison ivy reaction..." I don't look for it at all, after all these years. I did not break out at all. I think that I must be immune to it. Would that it were possible for me to become immune to sin and the temptations of it!

Glenda said...

I've had my own nasty battles with poison ivy. For a long time I thought I was immune to it, for I had never had any rashes. Well, was I in for a surprise a few years ago! (Sounds like a spiritual analogy in that somewhere!)

Your words are such a powerful illustration of the ugliness and deception of sin! But I'm glad we can have victory through Christ's death and resurrection!!

Kelly said...

Wow. That is an interesting analogy!

Poison Ivy, Poison Oak... we have both. I seem to pick it up from my outside dogs most often. They brush against it then brush against me. I had an aunt who would break out just by getting in the smoke from someone burning it. By contrast, my mother could weed it barehanded and not break out. I was an adult before I ever had a reaction.

Gregg said...

Great post and I realize I am not being original but wonderful analogy.

Relyn said...

Isn't it wonderful how we can find His Word and His wisdom in any situation?