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Perfect Pruning: Nothing to Do with Wrinkly Fingertips

June 13, 2019

People who can grow things amaze me.

Some would say they have a Green Thumb.

Others of us just have Bruised Thumbs.

I’ve seen gifted gardeners judiciously attack what they’re growing. First time I noticed this, it seemed like it’d be easier just to rip the whole thing up by its roots.

But even I knew that could kill it, and that wasn’t their objective.

They were doing that thing called pruning. In this context, pruning has nothing to do with one’s fingertips being all wrinkly from being in water too long.

Besides being a carpenter, Christ Jesus knew a thing or two about planting and helping things grow —

I am the Real Vine and my Father is the Farmer. He cuts off every branch of me that doesn’t bear grapes. And every branch that is grape-bearing he prunes back so it will bear even more.

— That’s from John 15, The Message version.

Pruning is preparing.

And then there’s this, from Antoine de Saint-Exupery: “Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.”

Pruning is preparing for perfection

Let’s let Christ Jesus have his rightful last word here —

I’ve told you these things for a purpose: that my joy might be your joy, and your joy wholly mature.

— Let’s remind each other of that the next time we’re being pruned.


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