The pruning process is painful but it is necessary for growth and sometimes protection.
I left my office to head to a hospital in Kingston to have lunch. It’s kind of weird that I like having lunch at a hospital but I do.
It’s a vegetarian restaurant that serves delicious food and it makes me not miss meat. I also like the idea of going there while I am healthy for meals instead of walking in because I am ill.
I was feeling so down in my spirit that day. There was a general feeling of sadness and my energy was low. An argument with a close friend that happened some months ago lingered in my memory and with it a feeling of heaviness.
I checked Instagram before leaving the office and I saw a post by that said, ‘the pain that you are going through is usually an indication that God is about to birth something new in your life’.
“Well I must be getting ready to birth something really big” I thought to myself as I stepped through the front door.
I just felt like crying.
“Lord, I am asking you to do something to make me smile” I thought as I descended the stairs and walked to my car. I thought maybe he could cause someone at the restaurant to do or say something to make me smile.
I drove to the hospital thinking about my friend and wondering why the conflict had to pop up. The thought of losing the friendship felt so painful.
I collected my parking ticket from the security guard at the entrance and drove towards the parking lot.
As I looked about for a space I saw something that grabbed my attention.
It stuck out like a sore thumb as if begging for my attention.
It was a tree with all the branches cut off.
I felt as if a dagger went straight through my heart as I looked at it. It was almost as if I could feel the tree’s pain.
It was being pruned.
I parked and walked to the restaurant after snapping a few pictures and while having lunch I overheard two men who were sitting next to me talking about it.
I leaned towards them and asked, “do you know why they cut it?”
“It was nice and provided shelter but sometimes good things have to go” one told me.
“Mhmm” I gave out.
He went on to explain that the huge branches were not safe for the surrounding buildings because if a hurricane came the tree could fall and cause damage.
Walking back to the car, I looked around for the grounds attendant to speak more about it and to hopefully video record his explanation. See video below
Thankfully a security guard found him.
“I want to talk to you about the tree. I feel like God is using it to talk to me” I told him, “I want to write an article about it. Can you explain to me why the tree was cut”?
The tree attracted lightening and could be dangerous so cutting it was a form of protection, he explained.
I thought about everything in the context of our lives. It is the same way that things and sometimes even people are removed in different seasons. I wondered and agonised over some relationships that didn’t last but now I realise that many things change when there is about to be a shift.
It’s so hard to let go of something that you want to hold unto and no doubt letting go is painful, but my experience with the tree reminded me that sometimes good things must go for greater things to happen.
I drove back to my office smiling.
[About the Author: Sandie Heron is a Radio Presenter/Producer on Roots 96.1FM, a community radio station founded by the Mustard Seed Communities. The programme which airs every Friday at 12:45pm tells the stories of citizens in Kingston and other communities in Jamaica and overseas who remain positive and who beat the odds despite desperate circumstances.]