Up by the roots

Then he said to the tree, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.”
Mark 11:14

bushes

I hate getting rid of plants. I love green things.   

But sometimes some of them have to go. Even big ones.

When we bought our loropetalum shrubs twelve years ago, they were so tiny. We planted them far apart. We thought they’d stay reasonably manageable. 

Loropetalum

But they didn’t. Even in our red clay dirt, they grew disproportionately. Every year Jeff would prune them back hard. But every spring they’d grow new limbs with a vengeance.

Until there was only one thing left to do.
Pull some out. By the roots.

So a week ago, because this wouldn’t work for us, Jeff tied one end of his rope around a trunk and the other to his truck, and pulled. I couldn’t watch.

After it was over, I looked into the empty spot. And involuntarily breathed deeper. Surprisingly, seeing the void made me happy, not sad.

Because now there was breathing room. Openness. No more overcrowding.

I’ve seen it happen this past year. When pruning wasn’t enough, I had to let Jesus curse some of my prize fig trees to death. 

I wanted to shut my eyes and not watch.

But after it was done, breathing came easier.

Now with room to maneuver, I could stretch in new directions previously unexplored.

I’m still slow to pull up green things; that can be good. But sometimes, when I’m too crowded in and the view has long been blocked by overgrown shoots, I need to hand God the rope and let him pull some things up by the roots.

Because in the open space, faith has room to grow outward, not just inward.

* * *

Do you have trouble saying no? How do you eliminate clutter from your life?

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