Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Pruning...particular, peculiar mercies

The hard things...particular, peculiar mercies....

"In a sense sickness is a place, more instructive than a long trip to Europe, and its always a place where there is no company, where nobody can follow. Sickness before death is a very appropriate thing and I think those that don't have it miss one of God's mercies"
Flannery O'Conner

Prov 14:10 The heart knows its own bitterness (sorrow and grief), And a stranger does not share its joy.

There is a point of relating, that holds the sufferer in communion with His maker. A fellowship that cannot be known between finite beings. It is an intimacy that brings rest because He knows in detail our heights and our depths!
Yes, there is nothing new under the sun, no temptation common to man, but at some point only my creator can stand with me, know me, understand me, deal with me, prune me, make room for more life, and heal me. At the end of the day it is God with whom we have to do.
He alone has seen my depths, in fact He has seen them before me. He has been preparing the way all along. He prepares me for Joy that He opens me up to receive. Gifts custom built for me.
He gives as no one could. He speaks the strange language that is me.
Here is an example of His love lessons and communion with me...Through sickness, through the hard.
particular, peculiar mercies....

The garden, my favorite thing about my home, is usually green and lush, reminding me that life and beauty burst forth even in the desert.

Lately, it is constantly on my mind; to prune away the frost damage.

Once green leaves, are now dried and lifeless. Many have dropped to the ground. Some hold their dead leaves tight unwilling to let go, to drop their wounds.

I don't want to prune to soon, leaving them totally naked to the elements.

One afternoon I start. It takes me several days, really ten minutes at a time is all the energy I have to spare. It is an important work. Lessons of life, death, and fruitfulness.

The job is far to big for hand held pruning shears. The damage done requires deep cuts.

I use Dad's hacking hedge trimmer. There is nothing gentle about it. The outer branches yield willingly as they are brittle and full of death. So much has to be taken away. I don't do it to be cruel. I do it because I remember them full of life and I want that again. I cut deep looking for signs of life.

The inner branches begin to wrestle with me. I sigh in relief. At its depth, signs of life, not willing to be broken hold on.

  We spend so much energy trying to keep alive that which belongs in the grave. It's what we know. It is uncomfortable to prune or be pruned, but it is for the Joy set before us that we endure.

The Vine dresser, the lover of my soul prunes away my own frost bitten brokenness.

He cuts away all that is weighing me down, all that prevents me from bearing a crisp clear image of Him. It is painful. It requires deep cuts. A lesser love wouldn't let me wear these momentary grave clothes.

A lesser love, would for personal pain sake, leave me full of death rather than prune me unto barrenness for a season.

God has a vision for fruitfulness for me and the journey through is bareness. I have lost much beauty. There appears to be no fruit.
BUT, there is hope based on facts...The facts of life... that life springs fourth from death....

I thank God with heavy heaving chest and outstretched arms. “Thank you for loving me enough.” More than enough! Enough to die yourself and enough to prune heavily all that is not in my best interest. You are trustworthy.

I keep wanting to get up from writing this...”Sit and write” is what I hear in my heart. A branch of distraction falls to the ground....
I want my own time...My personal time is invaded by a little boy. I choose to share my time, my lap...another branch cut...
branch by branch....multiple branches being sawed...eventual relief. His promised burden is light...lighter than imagined.
branches ever dropping, I call on my men to rake and gather the remnants of the past. We are making room for future life and beauty.

Today I opened my front door to breath air, and embrace blue sky...

My bougainvillea that once towered over me cropped...held within itself two birds...Already signs of life among the barren.

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