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.
Posted by Laura Barrow at 10:44 PM