Monday, May 2, 2011

Logger at large, with small blade handy

The sun stunned us with its warmth and light yesterday. We walked into the front courtyard, where W talked about propping up the kiwi trellis which seemed to be leaning a bit. "I'll have to put in a concrete block and another post or two to keep it upright," he decided. 

Last summer, the courtyard became sequestered under the shade of overhanging branches. The fig tree hardly had leaves, never mind fruit. I'd been eying a few 50' maples in the woods between our house and the street. We're allowed to cut two big trees a year, and these were leaning toward the house, growing 5' annually. After the neighbor's maple tree snapped its trunk and fell onto our roof a few years ago, we're less hospitable to overhanging hardwoods.

When I pointed the trees out to W, he said, "Just a minute," disappeared, and returned with a little folding saw. Its unimpressive blade boasted 12" of curved, serrated steel. But with a wedge here, and a flat cut there, the trees keeled into the forest, their unfurling new leaves headed for compost rather than green summer glory.

"Anything else?" asked our intrepid logger.

"Well, actually, look at that shrub. It's blocking the light on the trellis. Do you mind taking it out as well?"

A few minutes later, the kiwi scaffolding emerged, liberated from a mass of waxy leaves. Suddenly we realized that the maples blocked the sun's rays less than one woodland shrub, overtaking an area we hadn't protected. The kiwi trellis popped upright. It hadn't been the tangle of kiwi vines, but the slow creep of a wild bush, that had weighed it down.

I thought about how many times we likewise think big sins hobble us and define our futures. Yet, scriptures warn that "the small foxes" ruin a vineyard. Untamed daily habits can be more damaging to spiritual fruit and future dreams than major breakdowns or failures.

The rains are back this morning. The courtyard basks in the wet, water soaking every flowerpot and washing the kiwi vines. The formerly dry ground under the trellis soaks up moisture without hindrance. Similarly our hearts, pruned by the Master Gardener, allow the latter rains of God's love and the rays of his light to reach us so that we bear plenty of good fruit. (John 15)

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*When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. He said to his disciples, "The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields." Matthew 9:36–38 NLT

*Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor? Who has ever given to God, that God should repay him?” For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen. Romans 11:33-36 NIV

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