against our despisers
This isn't an aerial view of northern barrens. This is the bark on a red maple in my yard. Not pretty as you might suppose. But i think it beautiful, though barren. And it got me thinking about the criticisms you've raised against my church. I have a revelation for you: all you see is bark. Yes, it can appear damp, dark and even dead. But you don't know that coursing beneath its hoary membrane is life teaming. In the heart is sweet sap and living fluids. Where you see lifeless and harsh presentations, I see a protective layer against your damned disease. There is something so beautiful in the core that it would take your breath away. Oddly, it's when we're at our best that we don't give a crap how we look to you! But, loathing to look and deigning to discern, you depart despising what you yourself have necessitated.