Friday, April 25, 2014

Mr. Bud Survives The Crimes

by Donna L. Watkins

When we lived in Alabama we had some wild Redbud trees growing in our woods. They were the delight of Springtime along with the Dogwoods. When we moved here to Virginia, we didn't have any on the property or even in the acres of woods behind us growing wild. After a few years we decided to plant one in 2004. We like to name our trees, so we called him Mr. Bud.

Surely the deer hidden in the brush somewhere nearby rejoiced with us as we planted it. For they chomped on it regularly. Not only did they eat the branches, twigs and leaves, they also gnawed on the trunks. For such a small precious and delicate tree it was a brutal and continual attack over the span of four years. We thought it would "age" and not taste as good to them and they would stop. That's what happened with our peonies and several other bushes they enjoyed for awhile and then left alone.

We garden for wildlife so we weren't angry with the deer doing what they naturally do. We moved into their habitat so we had to learn what worked and didn't work if we wanted to enjoy a particular plant that might not survive in this "hungry deer" environment.

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As you can see from this photo taken after it had been protected and got to grow a bit, the damage of the deer is still evident in the trunk (on the left side) that is all eaten out and seemingly dead, but it supports the main part of the tree, and the other trunk is one that sprouted out on its own. What courage and determination! This reminds me of some of the words Jesus spoke in His Sermon on the Mount:

"You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.' But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also." (Matthew 5:38-40)

Finally in 2009 we decided to buy some chicken fencing to make circle "cages of protection" for not only Mr. Bud, but for a Hydrangea bush, Rose of Sharon, and another Redbud that was coming up. It worked well since it was a silver color and you couldn't even tell it was there when you looked from the windows of the house.

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As you can see the deer had certainly kept Mr. Bud from any growth since this is what was left of him when he had been in the ground for over four years. He still has the one main trunk and not many leaves, but each year he would come out with a beautiful display of leaves but no flower buds. The tree blooms on last season's growth and it never had any of that left behind. But now it was to be encircled with protection as God is faithful to protect us when we surround ourselves with His Word and the reality of His love for us.

"But the Lord is faithful; he will strengthen you and guard you from the evil one." (2 Thessalonians 3:3)

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After four more years of prayer, a lot of encouraging talk, and speaking visions of great beauty over Mr. Bud, when Spring came in 2013 I saw one branch that had buds on it and I was so gloriously happy. Not much to shout about, but considering what the tree had been through it was a grand delight for the eyes. Mr. Bud was stepping out. He had been able to see the word pictures I spoke over him.

Oh, so you don't think plants respond to words? The fig tree that Jesus spoke to certainly responded. And there's a ton of scientific evidence that plants are very much in tune with their environment. I remember one such account I had read in a book and I did find it online so I will include it here:

Cleve Backster is a scientist, who following World War II served with the US Counter Intelligence Corps and became a polygraph specialist with the CIA where he instituted their still active polygraph program. Backster decided to create a serious crime in the plant world. He chose two large plants that were placed adjacent to each other. One was to be murdered. The other was left to witness the crime.

Six of the research assistants in his lab drew lots to see who would be the murderer. One of the slips of paper provided directions as to how the murder should proceed. The five other students left the room and the “murderer” ripped the plant out of its pot and tore the leaves to shred.

Backster re-entered the room, attached his polygraph galvanometer to the surviving plant and then asked the students to enter the room one at a time. There was no response on the graph paper until the perp – the “murderer” entered the room. At that moment, the recording needle went into convulsive oscillations on the graph paper and the plant seemed to recognize the guilty party.

What did it recognize though? Certainly not the color of hair, clothing, facial features or even the guilty party’s expectations of being caught. Again, it is probably what Backster calls primary perception. While no one could say for certain, but I suspect it could be information from the implicate order, or the energy sea of consciousness that we are all bathed in and thereby connected to each other and in some mysterious way every living thing in our world – plant, animal and human.

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As you can see by 2013 Mr. Bud had grown into a beautiful tree and the second trunk was now very evident. He would produce a wonderful crown of green leaves, but nothing other than the little bunch of buds that we saw in the Spring.

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However this year, 2014, we were totally shocked to look out the window one morning and see the faint color of pink seemingly surrounding the branches. I wondered if I was simply seeing what I had visualized so often as I waited year after year for Mr. Bud to be able to bloom.

It was true, he had finally seen himself as I had seen him and there he was getting ready to produce a grand display of that electric pink color in the midst of our front garden.

What a delight it has been. I thought it only appropriate that his story should be told. We can all find our way to blooming in life no matter the tough circumstances that surround and attack us. We can be victorious over the Evil One. We can overcome because Jesus overcame it all. He said, "It is finished."  The devil has no power over us unless we give in to his deceitful bribes.

Take your victory in Christ and "take His yoke upon you so that you can have rest for your souls." (Matthew 11:29)  "Remain in Him, as He also remains in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in Him." (John 15:4)

And a final picture of victory for Mr. Bud is this one in April 2015. 

Rejoice!  Rejoice!

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