One Rose of Sharon in particular has been a bother to all of us. It’s more of a tree than a shrub, but the flowers looked the same as all the other ones. It was about the size of a small cherry tree and the branches would hang quite low to the ground. Big Brother could never quite get in there with the lawn mower, and footballs, soccer balls and other Miscellaneous Backyard Balls would roll under there. Invariably the child who had to retrieve the errant ball would come out a little more scratched than he went in.
Last year we noticed that this ugly tree was dying, and we kept saying we’d do something about it soon. Big Brother even offered to help with chopping it down (give that boy a sharp implement or anything to do with fire, and he’s all over the task). Finally yesterday Big Daddy went outside and got the tree chopped down in short order and even got the stump out fairly quickly. All the kids piled the sticks into the wagon and dragged them to the curb for removal. And Big Brother took the big shovel to fill in the hole. It was a true Pied Piper situation: Big Brother with his shovel full of dirt, followed by Little Brother, Middle Sister, and Boy Next Door (age 9) who was begging to be allowed to use the big shovel because “I love to bury stuff!”
Now I can look out the back window and have a clear line of sight to the fence. The balls and toys won’t get stuck under the tree, and the lawn can be more easily kept in trim.
Sometimes we just need to get that dead wood out of the way. It’s a good spiritual lesson as well–what’s the dead wood that we need to remove from our spiritual life?