What Lies Beneath?

The stump that reminded me of the living tree that once graced our lawn is gone. It’s been ground up, mulched, mutilated.

It didn’t go quietly.

Because of problems that cropped up with our 25-year-old tree, we had to take it down. Its stump looked sorrowful, a torso without limbs. It has left a bare spot that is longing to be filled.

It created quite the problem for the folks who did the grinding and removing.

Before anything happened, a gentleman from the utility company came out and drew red lines on the grass where electric lines, water pipes, and internet cables were located. Preventative measures are always necessary to avoid further problems.

It didn’t help.

Our internet connection was destroyed with the grinding up of cables. 

After the grinding, the remains of the tree were picked up, and another gentleman came to level what was left of the mess in the yard.

He was not a happy man. His very expensive leveler came across a very long piece of rebar that the tree had grown around over the years. It messed up the metal teeth of his machine.

He was more than willing to explain (read “complain”) why this was a problem on almost any job he had. When builders are completing a house, there are massive amounts of refuse left over from materials. Most make it into a dumpster, but quite a few things fall to the yard and are haphazardly raked in. Rocks, limbs, pieces of rebar, glass–you name it, it becomes part of the ground. It’s easier to cover it up than to pick it up. It often takes years before problems arise; complications with growth, utilities, or dangerous things that finally work themselves to the surface.

Our lives are full of all the undisclosed junk beneath the surface of our carefully managed images. Stuff that can cause pain and make growth and thriving seem impossible. Things that we’ve become so used to hiding that we don’t even think of them as problems. 

They’re still there.

Our current reality had made us all a little more aware of what lies beneath. Disruptions crop up a little more quickly. Discontent raises its head a little more frequently. Anxiety unsettles us a little more consistently.

With so much isolation, there’s more time for the things that we’ve successfully pushed down in our hearts and souls to surface; our less busy state gives these problems, fears, secrets time to surface.

We’re rarely pleased to see them.

The things of darkness don’t want to be exposed to the light. The light allows them to be seen for what they are–damaging and dangerous.  

Jesus is the Light. His truth shines a spotlight on what is wrong with our lives, our thinking, our attitudes, our world. He does so with gentle love, not condemning but showing us how His love heals us from the darkness.

Many don’t want to deal with the reality of the mess. They do whatever it takes to cover it up, justify it, or excuse it.

The ugly in us will always come out. Just like that ridiculous piece of rebar that surfaced in the lawn. 

Jesus came to release us from the grip of darkness.

Give Him the chance to clean up your heart.

He’s gentle.






6 responses to “What Lies Beneath?”

  1. Wonderful analogy! It would do us well to be “leveled” more often.


    1. Amen and amen, dear brother. We’re all a little too uppity for our own good! Thanks for your encouragement!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. OMG – this post resonated with me. My father was a contractor after retiring from the Air Force, and we also have massive (repair) construction going on in our neighborhood. From nails left behind that flatten tires to much more expensive 😬 redoing work that was not done well initially – ugh. So much better to not “hide” or ignore our mess and allow Jesus to do a complete cleaning. I will remember the “rebar” when I am tempted to put aside or cover up sinful ugliness in my heart. Thank you, again, Dayle, for continually seeing God’s loving truth in life situations. So very grateful for you.


    1. You do get it! All the junk that is shallow yet hidden–and yet Jesus loves us anyway. I love that He sees it and doesn’t condemn us. Thanks for your kind words, my friend. I wish we were back at the office!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I can truly attest to this that while having too much idle time I am being reminded of some of my very foolish sailor behavior which was NOT God centered but Tom centered. I am always grateful for a gracious, loving and forgiving Lord. Thanks for reminding us where the true Light comes from.

    In His bond of love and grace,


    Captain Tom Maxwell (USN retired)

    United States Naval Academy Central Missouri Blue Gold Officer (retired) http://www.captaintommaxwell.com


    1. I appreciate our Lord’s compassion with us, even as He knows what we’re hiding, what we’re unwilling to expose. Knowing His love is far greater than I can ever imagine–and that my sin is far more wicked than I could conceive–is so amazing and freeing. We are indeed well loved.


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