Isn’t the wisteria in front of our friend’s home beautiful? Doesn’t it provide colorful adornment to its host tree? Isn’t it aesthetically pleasing? We have wisteria throughout the Zuck homestead, but this is, I think, its most beautiful expression.
But what are we really looking at? What is the wisteria doing in all of its lavender glory? Its roots are deep in the earth, its diameter is thick, wrapping around the trunk of the tree and entwining itself around the branches. The wisteria has embedded itself in the tree, what was once on the exterior of the tree and which could be pulled away by hand has now become one with the tree – there is a merging of identity. Do you see the tree or do you see the wisteria?
The wisteria may be beautiful, but it is also deadly, the tree is dead. Wisteria will kill a tree. That which is pretty to the eye is deadly to life in this instance – appearances can be deceiving, and perhaps never so much as in a society attuned to image and appearance. As a tennis star used to say in hawking cameras, “Image is everything.” That does seem to be the mantra of Western Society, “Image is everything.”
There is a sense in which this is true. The question is, “Which image?” That is, the decision we make as to which image we will pursue in life is everything. Shall we pursue the image of God or shall we pursue the image of man?