I love to prune. It’s like art to me, a hope filled art. Each cut is intended to produce either a directional growth, to form and shape hardwoods for beauty, or to enhance the bearing of fruit.
Sometimes with ornamental trees a whole section of limb that rubs against another will need to be removed, allowing the stronger limb to develop more fully. At other times the interior has become so cluttered with unnecessary branches that they block the light from reaching deep inside. More often if pruning has been done regularly, it is a simple nip here or there to keep things growing as they should.
When doing light pruning I look at the bud that would be just behind the cut and estimate its future growth pattern. Will it grow backwards and into the interior? Does it face out and up toward the sun? I imagine and calculate the plant’s development before daring to trim it back.
I like to get an overall view of the condition and shape of a tree as I work. On more than one occasion the Groundskeeper at the retreat center has lovingly chided me as I repeatedly circled my object of renovation. Maybe I do take too seriously the ramifications of my pruning efforts. But like other things in my life, I do not want to throw things off balance through carelessness or haste.
For over three hours I contemplated being pruned as I pruned or, of being cut to the ground and starting anew. As I have done, so God too rings-me-round, looking to balance growth. My interior life had become overcrowded with things of this world hampering the light of God from shining in where needed. Other things needed to be completely removed so there would be more productive fruitfulness.
Drawing closer to God as I worked, I learn that in His pruning he too wants beneficial maturing, purposefully directed.