My enormous Winterberry (there's still debate about what kind of bush it is) overtakes the back porch. My husband announces that he's going to "cut it all back." It's an overflowing mass of greenery that looks like it's taking down the house.
For hours, he chops away at those precious branches until a stack of foliage the size of a car sits upon the porch.
I think of pruning and the waste of it. I know God prunes so we can be "more fruitful" and that parts of our lives that bear no fruit endure His careful removal. That's how I've always thought about pruning: it's to make something more fruitful.
But my husband comes into the kitchen--after I announce how terrible all this pruning is and how I totally distrust all his skill in this area (in a gentle, laughing kind of tone, of course)--and indicates the real beauty of pruning:
It's so I can see.
The lilac comes into view. The strawberries. The lily garden that's yet to bloom in the corner. The silky dogwoods my daughters planted years ago from little, tiny things. I can stand in my home and look out through the Winterberry to see.
When God removes something from me, it's so I can see Him better. It's so I can see my life better. It's so I can see what's been here all along but has been hidden from my overcrowded view.