Last night I spent a couple of hours clearing brambles, ivy and rampant honeysuckle from an apple tree which produces fruit for cooking. They fall well and require no extra sweetening. I simply wanted to clear round the bottom to reveal the sandstone wall underneath, but it soon turned into a rescue mission, as the tree was covered by the ivy and the honeysuckle, with the wild brambles impeding the task
It struck me, as i unwound the honeysuckle that had wrapped itself round the branches of the tree, that unresolved grief and anger do the same thing to the human heart, encircling and snaring the unwary, dragging them from the day into a deep and dark place.
Only through friendship and prayer can the way out be found. Like my shears and secateurs snipping a way through, pulling the threads back to reveal the source of the honeysuckle, God seeks to heal the source, and friends help us to move on. With such companionship and release we can start to move forward
Our fear of revealing our true selves in such a broken state leads us to stay in darkness far longer than we should. Yes, grief and suffering are part of the human condition, but both are part of the journey too
Such experiences change us. Grief leaves an indelible and permanent mark on us, but need not define us
We are pilgrims, born to journey, staying in one place, whilst offering comfort, is not good for our souls and long term health
Think of all the increasing evidence to show a sedentary lifestyle is not good for the human body, we are made to move, and whilst sitting is the most comfortable thing to do, it’s the position that puts most pressure on the spine
What are the things holding us back? What are our brambles, our ivy and our honeysuckle, stifling our growth and holding us back. Is it time to let the divine gardener do his work and prune out all the chains and branches of our old burdens?
Tomorrow calls our name, it’s time to break the bonds and live in freedom, instead of watching on mute acceptance of them. The pruning may scare us, and bid us out of our numb complacency. Take us from passive to active, and remember what it is to be human, to be alive. Break the bonds, take His hand, and start to live!