“Pruning for Lent” (from Busted Halo)

I set out not long ago in a search of the way of traveling what Jesus calls “real life” or “life to the fullest.” This nomadic expedition toward a life of joy (which I describe in my book Holy Nomad) led me to my own backyard, where I stumbled onto the divine teaching of an apple tree. As Lent approaches, here in the belly of a lifeless, ashen, Midwestern February, I wish for the world to blossom. The start of the Lenten season is always marked by my anticipation of the world’s slow emergence from hibernation, when the russets of winter lawns yield to lush green blankets of grass, the naked trees sprout their first buds of growth, folks wear brighter smiles and move at a quicker pace.

The apple tree in my backyard blooms stunningly each spring around Easter. I recall the first year in our home, I was rather proud of the bounty of edible apples it produced. The following year, the tree sprouted hundreds of new limbs; but when it finally began to bear fruit, we were left with only a handful of decent apples. I did some research and discovered that our tree desperately needed to be pruned. After my own failed attempt at the task, I decided to have an expert come to the house and show me how to properly care for the tree.

Read the full essay at @ Busted Halo by clicking here.


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