Pruning Pains…

Bradford Pear

Any branch in Me that does not bear fruit [that stops bearing] He cuts away (trims off, takes away); and He cleanses and repeatedly prunes every branch that continues to bear fruit, to make it bear more and richer and more excellent fruit.

I simply couldn’t believe my eyes when I pulled in our driveway…

In an effort to save our older Bradford Pear tree’s my husband sought the advice of a professional. In his defense (grudgingly) we had talked about trimming them from time to time but I blew it off. I didn’t really listen. I mean…do we really hang on every word that comes out of our husbands mouths? I heard, “they’ll trim, snip and shape the branches of our beautiful trees to keep them from breaking during storms.” I, in total denial, thought they would maintain their former splendor.

I was not ready for the horror that stood facing me…I was grief stricken. There were no branches at all!! You have to understand, I’m just this side of being a tree hugger. The trees also housed my bird feeders and I love bird watching as much as trees.

Needless to say this resulted in an all out sulk fest. Everything was my husband’s fault…he didn’t tell me, I didn’t know…you get what I’m saying…I’d make him pay! I refused to admit I’d known what was coming.

Now months later as I’m watching the birds feed from the one scraggly limb my husband asked the pro’s to leave, just for the bird feeders, just because he loves me and knew how I’d react, I’m humbled. You see the sight of my trees in their current state reminds me of myself.

Recent events in my life have left me bent by the force of the gale. God knows me; He knows that some of his children require a little pruning here and there while others just take more. Like the lush foliage hid the flaws in the trees, so good works and a righteous attitude hid brokenness in my heart. God has painfully pruned me back time and again to expose my gnarled up soul. Like the birds in my naked trees, there’s nowhere to hide. I’m forced to listen, forced to see the areas of my life that need shaping up. And I’m thankful.

The tree professionals assured me that in time I’d be pleased with our trees, that the new growth will be stronger and healthier. I pray that’s so for me as well. I did indeed have to eat crow (pun intended) and assured my husband he did good even if it hurt. Pruning pains equal growth.

Patti D. Hemphill
February 2015


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