This morning my eleven-year-old daughter stood her ground in once again teaching our eight-year-old daughter and six-year-old son, despite their perpetual we-know-already ‘tudes. The subject was the usage of the plural for leaf. Jacob and Anna insisted it’s leafs and proved it by repeating it over and over. Ashley insisted it was leaves and she, without telling me what the dispute was about, asked me a simple question: “Dad, what’s the plural of leaf?” I told her.

“See!” she told them with eyes bugged out.

Anna didn’t seem impressed. Yet, later she’ll try out “leaves” when no one else is looking, perhaps at school or to the mirror.

I’ve been meditating on foliage this week as well. Interesting to view God as gardener. Seeing him this way is refreshing, particularly in Spring when this is immediate and visual. God is not inactive but attentive, pruning and watering and trimming to trigger new growth and formation.

So I have to ask, “Lord, what in me needs cut and pruned?” The third part of lectio divina that I am following is listening to phrases that surface in re-reading the passage.

As I re-read John 15, many ideas are bubbling up that I’ll talk about through the week. Today I’m struck by the way Jesus allowed himself to be pruned by the Father. He said this is the greater love. He said to love as he loved. This is not the golden rule. It is the platinum rule. Loving as we think someone wants to be loved is really not golden, it sometimes can be selfishly executed. Loving as someone else wants to be loved is truly golden and more appropriately what the intent of love is, yet even that love can play to the selfish nature of others. The platinum love of Christ is to love others as he loved them. When we give up our very lives, we demonstrate the love of Christ.

O Lord, cut away my dead leafs.

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