Pruning for Growth

Before we left home in mid July, this pot held beautiful marigolds. I placed it in a sunny spot where it received ample rain, but not the attention of dead heading or pruning. Yesterday I pulled out dead flowers by the root. While not tragic in this case, failure to prune in people has far more serious consequences.
                 Today’s pruning shears are shorter than illustrations of biblical pruning hooks (mentioned in Isaiah, Micah, and Joel), but both cut back what is not desired or what is no longer growing. 
On a lighter note… Even the beloved Barney Fife repeatedly advised Sheriff Andy to deal quickly with problem behaviors by nipping them in the bud.
Probably our most painful, difficult pruning occurs in the area of self-centeredness. Funny, but that word auto corrects to self-centered mess! Sure enough, when left to our own devices, we expect the world to revolve around us. 

This summer, Gran Davenport and I took one step to move us and two of our grands to look more to the needs of others. As part of her church’s local outreach, we met at church, decorated cards for those in local assisted living facilities, had a short devotional, and then delivered the cards and visited with one lady Gran knows.

My favorite parts of the morning revolved around the Bible verse one independently chose to write in her card, the rainbow and flowers another drew for a lady who doesn’t get outside, and the questions we grandmothers answered as we walked into the facility. After introductions and a bit of looking, the 6 and 9-year-olds engaged in conversation with a former artist, a woman they did not know.

Not a huge deal, but we all stepped outside our comfort zones for two hours that morning. No baking cookies, sipping coffee on the porch, swimming with friends, or playing Shopkins. But the Lord pruned one small branch of our “self-centered mess.” 

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