Our trees have gotten a haircut. At least that’s what it feels like lately when I get up in the morning and find the sun streaming in our windows in places where it hasn’t streamed in a long time. There’s blue sky and a sunrise I don’t remember seeing before out one window, and a view I didn’t even know was there out another. But it feels just like a haircut because there are lots of bare branches with little patches of leaves letting light through where there used to be just a green canopy.
These days when I get a haircut you really know it. I like my hair cut back really short and I have the top of my bald head shaved to the scalp since there’s so little hair there anyway. That way I get a lot of distance out of a haircut because I let it grow way out until I can’t stand it any more — until the sides stick out and the little elephant hairs on top don’t know which way to go. For that reason, my head always feel a little cold for a few days after a haircut because the change is so drastic. Which might explain why my head feels cold this morning as I look out my window. It’s not that I just got a haircut — my trees did — but my head somehow feels it. It must be identifying with the trees.
There is one area in back where the shady benefit of two very large pepper trees is shared by five other houses. So when it’s time to prune, I go around and collect from those neighbors who are willing to pitch in. Not everyone does, but it’s worth a try since tree-trimming in this town is not cheap.
This year one new neighbor who never contributed before volunteered a check. He was actually thrilled with the way the cut-back of one tree had opened up his view that he handed me a check over the back fence. In fact it felt like a scene out of Home Improvement, when Tim Allen chats with his neighbor over the back fence and you hardly see anything of the neighbor except maybe his hat.
I’m thinking right now that there is a good deal of pruning that has to go on in my life. We need to cut John out of lots of things where his own interests are shadowing him from those around him he needs to be caring for. I need a mental and emotional haircut where we just get rid of John so the Spirit can work. That’s always painful and gives me a cold head. but it’s worth it because my pruning lets more light in for those around me.
John the Baptist once said that he needed to decrease so that Christ could increase. I get that now. That’s what’s going on here. Cut out more of me so God can let more light through. It’s painful, and it leaves you with a cold head, but people need more of the Lord and less of us.