A Pruning

After a morning of reflection and worship,
after fellowship and sharing around the lunch table,
after gathering, packing and cleaning ….
with most of the group on their way home, those of us left behind
waited for a roofer to make his way to the homestead to talk to the Jayne and Janis.

While the twins spoke to the roofer about the state of the roof that protects the body of this sturdy, stable structure, the rest of us went on an adventure of exploration. Ellice, daughter to Jayne, has been visiting this property from the time she was conceived. Her youngest brother was born in the front bedroom in the depth of winter with snow silently gathering on the ground. Ellice was our tour guide as we meandered by the barn,


wandered our way down the hill
and pondered our way through the  venerable cemetery.

After what seemed like a reasonable amount of time for a roofer to inspect and give a report,
we headed back up the hill to the house.

And there it was …

a vine  … laid bare. 

While waiting on the roofer, she began.
While waiting on our return, she finished.
This gorgeous, full vine that had so drawn me in over the weekend …
had been stripped naked
while I was away.

I had admired the way that the leaves gave cover to the landing of the porch.

I was comforted by the depth of the layering of leaves and vines … hiding away a part of that stoop …
so that one might feel secluded and protected while standing there behind the barrier.

I was fascinated by the tendrils
grasping that wire clothesline with an iron grip.

A tendril will twirl and twist … reaching out for something to grasp.


In time, should it find no sturdy support to clutch,
it will simply curl and tangle into a tight orb …
a contorted clasping of … itself.
These tendrils are beautiful to view …
but utterly useless for support of the vine.

While we meandered, wandered and pondered our way around the countryside,
Jayne snipped, cut and pruned
tendril from vine
and vine from support.

Without making an announcement,
without asking permission,
without even mentioning that this would be an afternoon task,
Jayne used the long-handled clippers brought all the way from home
to sheer away much of that overgrown vine.
This is an annual event, she tells me.
There it was … the spiritual/physical parallel.
We are this vine … beautiful and full
as autumn settles in.
The summer has past and the blossoms have bloomed,
the fruit has been born
and the time comes for rest and pruning.
Without announcement, permission or even a mention of what is to come,
our Heavenly Father pulls out the long-handled clippers
and sheers away that which is no longer necessary

in preparation for season of rest

knowing that growth will come again in the spring.

There is even that separation of the beautiful yet completely useless tendrils

that are simply tangled masses of our own self-support.

There may be those lone whisps of past life
that cling to support …

we mourn their loss
and may even pine for the “then” …
forgetting that this is but a season
and the future holds a beauty and growth of its own.

As I work my way through the themes of late,
::trembles::      …    f.e.a.r …. courage and bravery, 
I ask God to prune away the old and useless tangles of myself …
that comfort I offer myself with a layering … a hiding away  …
a seclusion and weary protection …  standing behind a barrier.
Built with tendrils that are beautiful to view …
but utterly useless for support of the vine ..
I beg for freedom from the burden of the weight.
Lord, foster my rest
and help me prepare
for growth in the spring …
growth that is empowered with
courage and bravery
through Your mighty Spirit.



2 thoughts on “A Pruning

  1. To me the key is: He doesn’t ask permission and he doesn’t apologize… He does what’s best for us ALWAYS. What a beautiful picture Karen. Just lovely… just like you. I love you my friend.


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