Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Life Imitates Nature

This week I’m posting the first of a series of ideas of how Nature teaches us about life. You don’t have to be a scientist to see the connections that Nature shares with humanity. In fact, you don’t have to even believe in God to see it. You just have to observe.

Take, for example, trees. As with all plants, a tree’s root system is the heart of the tree. Though we only see the trunk, branches and leaves, an entire root system remains unseen, nourishing and taking care of the tree. 

Humans are much the same way. Though we have a body that can be seen, our interior well being is at the heart of our growth. What we learn about life, love and living comes from our internal taking in of the world around us. 

The next observation we make about the root system of trees is the method by which they take in minerals and water to survive. If soil is rich in nutrients, then the tree’s roots reach out and take in the food. Roots grow and multiply quickly. Trees respond the same with water. Trees’ roots go out in search for water. Tap roots burrow way below searching for water to keep it alive. When it finds water, other roots follow the tap root, multiply and branch even deeper and further out. But when a tree cannot find water or nutrients, the roots ball up on each other and get lost. The tree withers and either dies or is stunted.

Humans work the same way as trees in this respect…and not just physically, but emotionally and spiritually. If the family, community and world in which we live is rich in love, emotional safety and experience, our interior roots reach out and take in as much as possible. We learn, grow, and flourish in that environment. However, if we are “stunted” by lack of love, safety and experience, our “roots” ball up on themselves. Outwardly we look tired, worn and sullen. Inwardly we feel broken.

While our bodies need water to survive, water (as I’ve shown in past posts ( also maintains a very spiritual meaning as well. Our spiritual selves grow deep in search for that “water,” meant to keep us alive.

Winter is a unique season for trees. Though most of the root growth takes place in June and July, the tree does not go completely dormant over winter. Though the leaves fall off and photosynthesis is no longer predominant, the tree still searches for water and nutrients to survive. In fact, studies show that root growth continues steady when the tree can find warmth and water in the soil. 

I now understand why the cherry tree closest to our house has grown the largest among all the trees that were planted at the same time! The warmth of the pipes underground and our house kept the root system growing without need to shut down because the soil was frozen.

Here again, that physical warmth can be compared to the emotional and spiritual warmth we seek in those winter times of our lives. If the “soil” (or environment) around us is frozen, we can’t move and grow either. Our growth depends on our ability to intake warmth and water as well. 

In the beginning of this post I suggested that you don’t need to believe in God to see the way humans and nature intertwine. While that is true, I believe that the Truth of God enlightens and fulfills our lives in a robust way because God creates nature with us in mind. I believe the idea that we are random or by accident is far from the truth. In fact, there is symbiosis with all of life. We have to be willing to use more than just our eyes to see it. Connections between nature and humans can be found everywhere.  

We are created with body, mind and spirit…no matter what religion you believe. So why not embrace that entire being with the comprehension that there is more to life than what we can see? And perhaps, there’s more than what we can understand…


Gabriel said...

Dear Loretta,

well The article was informative, specifically about the growth of plants and trees and its relation with humans. There is one thing that intrigues us all is the concept of soul/ spirit. Science is nearly silent on this matter. what do you say ?. And what about the growth in human spirits. Spirit cannot die and this phenomena is essential for organ transplants .

And thanks for your reply in previous post

Loretta Oakes said...

Dear Gabriel:
I'm not sure what you mean when you say that the spirit cannot die and is essential for organ transplants. Could you explain that further?

Science is silent on the matter of the soul/spirit because they cannot measure it, see it, etc. Another discipline called philosophy takes on the idea of spirit. However, I think scientists are closed minded when it comes to this idea of spirit. They shy away from it instead of embracing it. That is why I try and explain that you cannot separate nature from spirit. That's my goal with this blog. :)

Thanks again for stopping by!

gabriel said...

Science and religion . I hope you'll like that

In January of 1936, a young girl named Phyllis wrote to Albert Einstein on behalf of her Sunday school class, and asked, "Do scientists pray?" Her letter, and Einstein's reply, can be read below.

(Source: Dear Professor Einstein; Image: Albert Einstein in 1947, via Life.)

The Riverside Church

January 19, 1936

My dear Dr. Einstein,

We have brought up the question: Do scientists pray? in our Sunday school class. It began by asking whether we could believe in both science and religion. We are writing to scientists and other important men, to try and have our own question answered.

We will feel greatly honored if you will answer our question: Do scientists pray, and what do they pray for?

We are in the sixth grade, Miss Ellis's class.

Respectfully yours,



January 24, 1936

Dear Phyllis,

I will attempt to reply to your question as simply as I can. Here is my answer:

Scientists believe that every occurrence, including the affairs of human beings, is due to the laws of nature. Therefore a scientist cannot be inclined to believe that the course of events can be influenced by prayer, that is, by a supernaturally manifested wish.

However, we must concede that our actual knowledge of these forces is imperfect, so that in the end the belief in the existence of a final, ultimate spirit rests on a kind of faith. Such belief remains widespread even with the current achievements in science.

But also, everyone who is seriously involved in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that some spirit is manifest in the laws of the universe, one that is vastly superior to that of man. In this way the pursuit of science leads to a religious feeling of a special sort, which is surely quite different from the religiosity of someone more naive.

With cordial greetings,

your A. Einstein

gabriel said...

Forexample if somebody has lost its organ it like eye. he wont be able to see but if somebody donates him an eye after 20 years. It could work. There is no end of soul. It cannot be injured unlike our body ( Physical)

Loretta Oakes said...

Dear Gabriel:

Sounds like you answered your own question with Einstein's answer. I love that letter, thank you for sharing!

Einstein makes it very clear that scientists are imperfect and don't attempt to understand forces beyond what they can see. Therefore, they choose not to include faith with their thoughts on nature. However, I believe that perspective then limits what scientists, doctors, etc can solve because they are trying to solve the problems from a human view point, not the Creator's. That is an extreme disadvantage. If you look back to previous posts of mine I talk about how DNA works and the intricacies of DNA reveal that everything that happens in our DNA happens in threes...much like how Christians see the Trinity. What would happen if we were to try and solve medical problems associated with DNA from a Trinitarian point of view instead of our limited knowledge?

As far as your organ transplants are concerned, I still don't understand your concern. Are you saying that transplants shouldn't happen because the spirit is still tied to the body after death? The Bible says clearly in both Old and New Testaments that our bodies return to dust. Therefore, our spiritual life after death is not dependent on our bodies. However, since the transplant donor had his/her own DNA, that DNA does become a part of the person who received the organ. There is much discussion on that aspect of the transplant. Some wonder if they inherit others traits. Christians believe (because Jesus said) that we will be reunited with our earthly bodies, but they will be glorified...considering we live in three dimensions, I believe that God will restore our bodies to their beautiful image that would have been there if original sin wouldn't have taken place. I also remember that God is God. Since He designed each of us and fashioned us out of His clay, He will be able to do anything He sees fit with reuniting our bodies to our spirits.

I love your questions and I hope I have addressed them in a way you can understand. Please feel free to keep up the discussion!

Hope all is well with you.

gabriel said...

Restoration after death is amazingly in every religion.

Loretta Oakes said...

Yes, Gabriel, it is in every religion. But some restorations are different than others...depending on the religion.

gabriel said...

what is the difference between Islam and Christianity in respect of restoration.

I hope you are well too and thanks for answering

Loretta Oakes said...

I have not studies Islam in depth to compare it to Christianity. Perhaps since you live in Pakistan you could share with me the Muslim view if you know it. Then I can tell you what Christians believe and we can compare together? Otherwise, give me some time to ask my Muslim friends about it and to investigate it on my own. Thanks!

gabriel said...

Well its pretty simple and i believe there is no difference. In Quran its said that Islam is the continuation of Christianity. So It says that restoration will be in the best shape with no defects(best shape / youth). but its all after the day of judgement and depends upon results( good or bad).

Loretta Oakes said...


Isn't that interesting? To think that Islam is the continuation of Christianity. Christianity is very much the continuation of Judaism. So is the conflict so intense between Judaism and Islam? Is it over land? It's been over so many centuries.

So I have another question then. Why does Iran put Christian pastors into prison or kill their own if they do not refute Christianity for Islam? I'd really like to understand that one. It has caused alot of angst here.

Anyway, it sounds like you know the difference, so I'm not sure what you are asking me. Perhaps you can rephrase your question?

For example, Hinduism says that we are reincarnated in a lower form of an animal or such and work our way back up to the top. So obviously they have different ideas of what restoration means.

My understanding, which comes from Christian studies as well as science understanding, is that our original nature was corrupted with original sin. God will restore who we were supposed to be after that last judgment. The person we should have been but because of sin in the world, our image was deformed.

Hope that helps!

So good to talk with you. Be blessed!

gabriel said...

can't say anything about iran. BTW there are 80000 Jews living there and waiting for their Christ. And i believe there is a ban on preaching any other religion and even any other sect other than shitism.
I wanted to know your version of restoration. And Quran says that Human being is evolved into best shape. (image of GOD)

Hinduism is not a religion in any way. There is a lot of discrimination and racism in Hindu society.


Loretta Oakes said...


I thought I did answer your question in the last paragraph of my last comment. But I will reiterate:

The Christian view of "restoration" which is not a term Christians regularly use, is: because of original sin (from Adam and Eve), sin entered into the world which inhibited God's plan for us. As such, this changed everything from weather to nature...including our DNA. So when our DNA is copying and the mechanism misses a letter, an A or T for example, then the DNA becomes deformed, which then deformed our nature as well. But once the final judgment comes, those bodies will be restored to their full DNA identity that was meant to be before genes were missed or deformed. I have no idea whether we will be children, adults, or something else, but it really doesn't matter because God knows what's best for us.

However, I will say that I believe it is very VERY closed minded to think that to be made in God's image means something physical. I believe we are much more, body, mind and spirit. I believe that we are trinitarian and that is what it means to be made in God's image. For example, everything that happens in our DNA happens in three's. Trinitarian. Our nature of knowing right from wrong comes from a conscience which God gave us. That's how we are made in God's image. To consider only the physical aspect of our being is to limit what we are and therefore limit what God meant by saying, "let us make man in our image." There is a whole being, and that bears more scrutiny that just what it means to be "restored" physically.

And I don't believe we have "evolved" either. There have not been enough iterations through time to have humans evolve to our state. There are many sources that show the math that indicates this is simply not possible. So I'm not sure if the Quran says evolve or not. I do believe what the Bible says about being made in God's image...I just think that you have to look at the whole human, not just at the physical being. How limiting!

I hope this is more encompassing answer that you can relate to.

thank you again.

I'm afraid I might have hit a nerve from your response. But truth is, like it or not, the New Testament of the Bible, the emergence of Christianity is completely based on the Old Testament or Judaism. This is Christian truth. All the things that were told by the prophets to the Israelites came to fruition through Jesus Christ. All things. Close study of the Old Testament with the New Testament reveals this very clearly. I can't help but wonder if perhaps some people just chose to take God literally and say that their messiah would be King over all the earthly dominions which is why they choose to still wait. But it really doesn't matter because Christianity is based on Judaism. Jesus was a full fledged Jewish man.

Thank you again for your interactive replies. I hope you are enjoying this as much as I am.


gabreil said...

amazingly i am enjoying

Thank you for your kind and polite replies.

Loretta Oakes said...

You as well.

gabriel said...

waiting for your next post anxiously!

Loretta Oakes said...

As you wish...