Saturday, July 2, 2011


He tapped his cane on the front porch to get my attention. He shook his fist at me, "stop it Missy, you're gonna ruin them bushes".
I tried to assure him I was only pruning them, but my explanation fell on deaf ears, literally, as he shuffled back inside the house. The screen door banged behind him.
From his perspective the bushes looked just fine. But from my perspective they were overgrown and the weight of the new flowers were weighing the new growth down. I continued, in spite of my neighbor's protesting.
I continued pruning for over an hour. And picked up three huge bags of branches and leaves. As I sat back on my heels, resting, I thought about all the times the Lord has tried to "prune" me. From his perspective He needed to get rid of the dead branches, or just "trim" me up.
Several days later I wanted to redeem myself with Mr. Johnson. With two mugs of hot steamy coffee, prepared just as he likes it and a plate of chocolate chip cookies, fresh from the oven I knocked on his door.
He sat on the rocker farthest from the door and pointed with his cane for me to take the one beside him.
He shoved a cookie in his mouth and took a sip of the hot brew. He looked out across the banister into my yard and nodded.
"See, I told you to leave 'em alone. Look how pretty they are."
I smiled, I love you Mr. Johnson.


Joylene Butler said...

I love your posts. You are such a sweet and wise woman, Katt. Your dear neighbour is better for having you live next door.

Carol J. Garvin said...

I wonder if any of his later reaction was meant to be his gruff way of admitting that you did a good job of pruning??? Joylene is right... you're a kind and loving neighbour. He didn't deserve those cookies, but you followed our Lord's example in offering undeserved blessings. Good for you!

Kathryn Neff Perry said...

Joy, I'm not sure he would agree!

Kathryn Neff Perry said...

I think gruffness (is that a word) is our way of sheltering our feelings.