Be careful with sharp objects

July 26, 2011

I was doing some landscaping recently, removing sod and clearing an area for a new planting. I was working around some sumac trees, and in the process of cutting the sod I also cut a couple of roots from the sumac. Well, I thought, this tree could very well die from those cuts, I hope there are more and deeper roots than the ones I just cut. As I was thinking those thoughts, the tree fell over. Apparently, sumac roots do not run deep, nor do they have built-in redundancies. I killed the tree without even trying.

Now, I could say that a sumac is really just a weed tree. There is an over-abundance and it won’t really be missed. But this tree provided color with its dark green foliage and deep red fruit. It provided a nesting place for birds. And, most notably in the 90 degree heat we have had recently, it provides shade! So there is a small, but still noticeable loss.

This got me to thinking about the roots we cut in our relationships without even trying. Well, unfortunately sometimes we do think about it first. Shame on us for that.

How do we cut roots? The “insignificant” acts of ignoring or undervaluing people; the slights that we think no one will notice. Or, how often do we take people for granted, forgetting the shade they offer to our otherwise hot lives? How often do we ignore nesting place provided for children and friends; the color they add to our lives?

We so easily take the axe (or the shovel, or simply pruning shears) to the roots and stems and trunks of people, and we leave scars at the very least, we leave death when we are careless.
Instead, just as a master gardener would do, just as The Master Gardener has done, we can be nurturer. I have been thinking a lot lately about Isaiah 58:12 ”Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old foundations; you will be called repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings…”

That’s what I want to do with the rest of my life. I don’t want to cut, chop or break people or relationships. I want to build up, I want to repair, restore, renew.

I will pray for you if you want me to. And given the chance, I will be a healer, not a hurter. I know that’s not a real word, but it has real meaning.

So, whether you have a sharp shovel or the thought of a sharp word, think carefully before using either.


One Response to “Be careful with sharp objects”

  1. Sue said

    Another great post. Deep hurts take a long time to heal. Hope and trust. After I read, a plant that our landscapers sheared down to bare ground with a weed wacker came to mind. I thought it was a goner. I was heartsick, every little leaf lay dead on the ground. It’s a little succulant which I was told is called a “lives forever.” I don’t know what other gardeners call it! ITake heart, however, my little plant made a comeback! It will have flowers next month! I have heard of other gardeners who have gone so far as to rototill the roots only to have one little root survive and make it back-to-life (thinking of the Root of Jesse?). Anyhoo, I get your point, only wanted to add some thoughts from way out here in cyberland. I pray God answers your prayers and blesses your abiding faith in Him with overflowing measure. ; )

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