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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Pruning, Faith, and the Lenten Season

I just finished pruning my three rose bushes the other day, and hats off to you gardeners who have many roses to keep up with!  As I worked, I had the feeling that I had never done this before and that I was going to wind up with ruined plants.  I also kept returning to the idea that there could be no better metaphor for FAITH than that of a gardener pruning her roses. 
It is counter intuitive to take a big, healthy rose bush which gave me lovely flowers last season and whack away half of its mass and most of its folliage!  Why would I do such a  thing?  I do it because rosarians who have been doing this crazy pruning thing testify to the miraculous results it brings to their beloved roses, that's why.

As obvious as this is, I wonder why I have such a hard time following the advice and example of Jesus and the holy people who have written or perhaps even spoken to me? You know the kind of wisdom: the first will be last, and the last, first.  Or: one who seeks to save his/her life will lose it, but if that one loses (willingly gives over that life to God's service)  her life, she will save it.

I think that this spiritual pruning is harder for me to follow than the horticultural kind because it takes longer to see the results of the work.  And also, because I am the one to be pruned and that doesn't feel good!  I want to let myself grow in chaotic, random ways like an uncultivated plant in the garden! 
So I wish you good luck in whatever type of "gardening" you do this lent.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this wonderful metaphor and reminder. Death brings forth life... spring is always a great example of that. Happy gardening to you.