During Lent and into Easter, I kept passing this dogwood tree while driving to and from town and something about the contrast of the dogwood blossoms and the moss made me think about sin.
A dogwood blossom has a story attached to it. As the story goes, the four corners of a dogwood flower represent the four points of a cross, the rusty tips of the blossom represent the nails and the red berries represent the blood of Jesus.
When I look at this tree, I see the dogwood representing a Christian on their journey with Christ and the moss as the sin that can so easily entangle. I see myself represented. A person forgiven and cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ but a person who still struggles all the same. The “moss” still hangs on in some areas. In fact, I can hide it as this moss will be hidden when the leaves turn out but its still there. Isn’t that like us? We want to present a beautiful picture to the world even though we’re hiding the things about us that are ugly, creepy, sinful.
Sometimes, my choice to sin affects others and like the moss carried by the birds or the wind can take up residence in another tree so my sin also has an impact on others. I can infect them with my attitudes and behavior.
And like the moss that can rob a tree from its vital sunshine, if I’m not careful in my walk with Jesus, I can find sin carrying me away from His vital light.
“…God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.” 1 John 1:5-7
Spanish moss and sin might seem a strange pairing but the visual imagery resonates. Today, I hope to make more mindful choices and remove some of the “moss” from my life.
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23