Published May 22, 2020
Since our stay at home order took effect in March, I have not been able to get my dog to the groomer. And you know what that means. Homemade haircuts for Fido.
Actually his name isn’t Fido; it’s Prophet.
The thing about my dog is he’s, uhhh, shall we say, spirited. He knows his own mind and woe to the person who tries to train it.
So when I came at my poor pup with my husband’s shearing razor, he didn’t cower or cooperate. He tried to bite it.
“Hey, bud! Be careful now. This thing could clip your tongue and then you’ll be sorry.” Yes, I know my dog theoretically doesn’t understand full conversational English, but I talk to him like he’s a person anyway. Because secretly I think he knows everything I’m saying and just chooses to ignore it.
“I just need to trim your hair, you little fuzzball. It’s getting all matted and you’ll feel so much better when it’s all cleaned up.” I stroked his furry back and flipped the clipper’s “on” switch.
Prophet’s head jerked up—and he bolted for the corner of the room.
“Come on, dude. Please trust me. I would never hurt you.” Says the grown woman looming over the 13-pound pooch with a buzzing instrument of fear. Prophet stared at me with saucer-shaped eyes and a skittish stance, ready to run. I tried one more time.
“Look! Momma does it!” I ran the trimmer over my sweatpants, naturally to demonstrate how NOT scary the experience would be. Prophet zoomed past me and hid in the hallway. I stood in the living room with the clippers anchored to the electric socket, yards short of the dog.
Let’s just say we’re still waiting for the groomer to re-open.
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.” (John 15:1–2)
Nobody likes getting pruned. It’s a painful process, losing parts of you that you’ve allowed to overgrow. God often prunes us during seasons of waiting or suffering. Seasons like, oh, I don’t know, a pandemic. When we have no choice but to strip our idols and trust in God.
It’s May now, you realize. During a typical school year this would be my busiest month—and yours, too? At our school we moms have a running joke about starting a club called Mothers Against May. The countless school activities, concerts, field trips, assemblies, theme days leading up to the last day of school—we love it and we hate it at the same time.
But take it all away in one fell swoop, and a gal gains a new perspective. We moms have a rare, out-of-body opportunity to sort through what we actually value vs. what was just fluff in the schedule.
And you know what I’ve discovered? There are a few things my kids and I truly miss and mourn.
But not as many as I’d have thought.
It’s easy to shake fists at the quarantine, as though it’s one big interruption of normal life. But maybe God is pruning us on purpose—forcing us to identify our idols and cut them off. Why? So that we can flourish going forward.
Nobody enjoys the clipping. But the results are worth the pain.
The question is—are we going to nip at God, the Almighty clipper? Or are we going to submit, rest in his tender care, and trust that this holy haircut is ultimately meant to bless us?
I want to respond in trust, don’t you? So let’s remind each other when we’re tempted to bite the Hand that grooms us. We will come out of this more beautiful than before.
That’s how God works.
And I’m leaning in.
Will you join me?
“And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.” (1 Peter 5:10)