Tony Otten: Glossy Tendrils of Temptation (The 45th Parallel)

Written by on December 5, 2013

Tony Otten Coneflowers

This week’s 45th Parallel inspiration is brought to you by my friend Tony Otten, of Erlanger, Kentucky.

Tony says:

“I thought you might like this photo I took in my backyard. You can see the ivy wrapping around the pink coneflowers here. I took the picture on a whim, but it struck me afterwards that the situation much resembles the hold that sin has on many of us. The ivy is killing the plant, sure, but isn’t it attractive? And glossy? And besides, getting rid of it would be a lot of work, untangling all those stems. You might hurt the flowers. It can always wait another day, can’t it? So the excuses go.”

Brilliant, Tony! The ivy creeps around the coneflowers in stealth mode. So innocuous-looking, eh? I wonder if the gardener is going to descend upon it with a pair of ratchet shears? Or will he leave the coneflowers to their own demise? (Awesome photography, by the way.)

Reader, what’s the easiest lie to buy when you’re tempted?

The 45th Parallel is a series which explores spiritual parallels in  everyday sights. I invite you to email a photo you’ve taken and tell how it illustrates overcoming; forgiving; encouraging; or our relationship with God. It may be featured in an upcoming blog post!

Tony Otten

Anthony Otten
has published work in Wind Magazine, the Louisville Review, and the Penwood Review. He blogs on faith and writing at and is on Twitter: @AnthonyOtten.

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