Found this in my drafts folder, that I wrote last Autumn but never posted for some reason.
As I was deadheading my flower pots the other day, I was mildly surprised at how much the spent blooms concealed. Once I started clearing them out, there was a lot of junk underneath the leaves, lots of debris and fallen petals, just hiding there beneath the fading flowers. I knew it needed to be done, and there were many almost-but-not-quite-spent blooms that had to be cut back, along with the dead stuff. I knew it was good for the plants, that it would bring forth more blooms and fresh growth.
And I wondered if that’s how the Lord feels when He deals with us, sometimes.
Our hearts can look okay, especially if you don’t look too close. But there can be a lot of … crap in there. Crap we haven’t dealt with, or let Him take care of. Things we like to keep hidden. Shameful thoughts, painful thoughts, mean and sinful thoughts. I wondered if He looks at me the way I look at my plants. “I know it seems severe, and I know you think there’s still something good here, but trust Me, getting rid of this stuff will make you so much more happy and beautiful! Your spirit will shine!”
I wanted to be picky with my garden deadheading. Clip this dead flower here, cut that dying one there, dainty dainty nip and tuck. It wasn’t long before I was wishing I just had a big hedge-trimming kind of tool to just zip the plants down to the tops of the pots and be done with it.
There’s a line from some cartoon my husband and I once saw long ago, where a character said, “He needed killin’.” We laughed and it became part of our family joking around. Dark, perhaps, but it’s kind of how we joke. But it went through my head as I trimmed my flowers, especially as I cut blooms that weren’t totally dead yet but would be in a day or two. “They needed killin’, they’ll bloom so much nicer now!” It wouldn’t surprise me at all to hear Yeshua say to me, “Those thoughts, they need killin’!”
Yes, Lord, they do. They’re not thoughts that are good for me, or anyone else, frankly. Good thoughts, healthy thoughts, Christ-centered thoughts cannot bloom where angry, selfish thoughts live. I suppose that’s kind of what Scripture means when it says:
John 15:16 (HCSB) You did not choose Me, but I chose you. I appointed you that you should go out and produce fruit and that your fruit should remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in My name, He will give you.
I suppose pruning is never fun, neither for the prunee nor the pruner. But, it needs doing, and once it’s done, the results can be so beautifully worth it. And if the Lord loves me enough to prune, well isn’t that in and of itself, a kind of blessing? Doesn’t it show that He believes there is something bloom-worthy in me and He wants to bring it out?
I’d like to believe that.
cross posted on my spiritual blog