"...he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more." (John 15:2)
A few years ago we had hurricanes just three
weeks apart. At our home, the first storm ripped off the nails and wire
cords that held the thick bouganvilla vine into the concrete. When we
were able to return home, we found the entire enormous plant down on the
My husband got a chain saw to begin work on
cleanup. We had huge piles of tree limbs, spindly branches, and gnarly
trunks, more than twenty-five years' worth. What remained were little
stumps. Literally they looked like dead sticks that were just stuck in
We went out of town after that, and when we
came back, did we have a surprise! Just two weeks to the day that my
husband had cut it all down, it was loaded - loaded! - with new growth.
Beautiful thick green leaves, and long sturdy branches.
I got it. I finally
got the the story about “pruning” that's in the bible (John 15). I never
had really understood it until I witnessed firsthand this thing with our
vine. It seems Jesus spoke so often in terms of agricultural terms. The
people must have understood stories that related to trees, plants,
seeds, and growing conditions. Probably made perfect sense to them. And
now it does to me too.
You know what they
say, you have to experience something to understand it. I guess that is
the gift - or one of them - that God gave me through the loss of this
bouganvilla vine. And I am grateful for that, and for the implications
of the story that are now brought to light for me. I fully expect the
vine to bud any day now. I also expect a bumper crop of magnificent
fuchsia colored flowers.
So when I experience
clipping, snipping, and chopping - aka pruning - at the hand of the
Master gardener, maybe I can remember this principle. Cutting back - for
more. More growth. More production. It works. And it works for me.
That is good news.
Sally I. Kennedy