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.