Of cold heads and tree trimming

FullSizeRender 5Our 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.

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4 Responses to Of cold heads and tree trimming

  1. Lisa in Sunland says:

    And I like that the part of the window frame in the photo looks like the cross! So the work of the cross is overlaid on the trimming away of us. Nice and amen!

  2. Ironic. As I was just fussing (to myself) about waiting in line behind several (older) ladies, getting a hotdog for my mom, no makeup, no clean clothes, no warning that I’d be having to do this, I realized that my work will still be there when I get back. Not to mention, it’s the reason I switched to freelancing a few years ago — to be available to help my parents. Duh. I get so frustrated when my mom is apologizing for taking up my time. A lot of pruning needs to be done here, for sure!

  3. Mark Seguin says:

    Amen and this is certainly true for me also: “…people need more of the Lord and less of us.”

  4. Peter Leenheer says:

    Pruning a tree has some interesting parallels to the christian life. When one begins to prune, the dead, the diseased and diagonal branches need to be removed. The canopy of the tree must be maintained so the pruning does not destroy the integrity of the tree. Branches must be removed after that to reduce clutter so that the tree’s leaves enable you to see the sunshine yet when you look at the sun through the branches it does not blind you. The inside of the canopy must also be cleared out of branches so that the wind can blow through the tree. Too many branches means too many leaves and they catch wind perhaps breaking or damaging the tree. Also too much clutter makes the inside of a tree a great place for harmful insects to set up shop. The branches pruned require proper cuts for proper healing of the wounds. Last of all pruning invigorates, and in the case of fruit trees it is required to produce healthy and robust fruit. If pruning is not done regularly then the tree becomes a mess, and if it is put off for a long time the tree is not always salvageable. Dead branches have the deadness migrate to the main trunk and will eventually kill the tree. Isn’t it interesting how God prunes our lives yet does not destroy us but invigorates us with proper ärboristic care. Let him prune you, He is a great arborist!

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