An odd question I had to ask when I managed to whack my elbow at least twice a day in one week – I can bump it into door frames and chairs, as if it’s like a magnet!

Sometimes I wonder what goes on inside me! But, I am not sure I would understand it all if I knew. Just like in my garden, more goes on below the surface of my old body than I can imagine.

The one principle of both growing a garden and “growing older” that seems essential for renewal is pruning.

I see how the geraniums, roses, marigolds, and daisies respond to my clippers. They flourish. However, I don’t react as positively when I sense the Lord has His shears out. Sometimes I am not in such a hurry to put out new growth as the flowers, even though bearing fruit is the reason He is pruning me. (John 15)

Getting clipped through health setbacks quickly teaches dependency, humility and obedience. It also reminds me how much I have taken for granted for decades – being upright, alert and healthy is a priceless treasure! Sitting around a doctor’s office or ER, waiting, I hear the lament, you don’t what you’ve got until you lose it, with new ears.

Gratefulness for what I have is a sweeter pill to swallow than choking on grumbling, nit-picking or ingratitude. For example, too many unexpected visits to the ER and doctors’ offices makes me appreciate even more the kindness of strangers – and other people’s determination who have equipped themselves to serve others, especially those inventive souls who invented knee-pads for bum elbows!

If it is true, as the Latin proverb declared, “In time of sickness the soul collects itself anew,” I am renewed, relieved, and flourishing even after another unexpected pruning, when I whack my elbow!

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