On Saturday, our dear friend John came to our home to teach me how to prune our crepe myrtle. I was struck by the tender and contemplative way John studied the tree. He silently walked around to view it from all angles–gazing in love and admiration.
I studied John as he studied the tree.
“We want to create space in the center so that sunlight can shine through.” John explained.
Later he mentioned that light-deprived branches, become infested and moldy.
Creating space for the Son-light to shine through is what Lent is all about. One of our most fruitful pruning practices is forgiveness. At all times, but especially in Lent, we are invited to trim away the anger, resentment, and pain which harden and decay our hearts.
Surveying our hearts from every angle, as John surveyed our crepe myrtle, we might wonder: Where am I being invited to prune old hurts, resentments, and anger?
Forgiveness is the shear to create space for the Son-light to shine through. Depending upon the depth of the wound, or the amount of time we have been holding on to our pain, forgiveness can be incredibly difficult.
Painful as it may be, true forgiveness is always life-giving. John reminded me the reason we cut away branches is so that the limited energy of the tree is used to make fewer branches healthier. Anger, resentment, and pain suck the sap of joy, love, and laughter from our lives.
Sometimes, the person we need to forgive is ourself, other times it is parents, children, partners in love or business.
In preparation for our time together Sunday, and in keeping with our Lenten journey, I encourage you to take time in prayer each day this week to consider:
Where am I being invited to prune old hurts, resentments, and anger?
Yes this can be hard work. Take heart, like John lovingly gazing at the crepe myrtle, the Master Gardener gazes at you and me, ready to assist in our desire to make space for the Son-light.
Thank you John. Thank you God.
It is my intention to spend a bit of time each day with you reflecting on forgiveness in this space. If you want a partner on your forgiveness journey, I invite you to email or call me to set up a time to pray and prune.