One of my favorite short animated films from Pixar is called “Boundin'” – you can find it on the special features of The Incredibles DVD or take a few minutes and watch it here:
My favorite part is when the fluffy sheep knows the truck is coming to shear him and he just sticks his little leg out as if to say, “Bring it on!” For me this cartoon is another parable like the one Jesus spoke of concerning vines and pruning – it has to be done and the result is more fruit and a healthier plant.
True. But that doesn’t mean it feels just super great right after the pruning. In fact, sometimes it is embarassing. Sometimes it feels like you’re naked in front of a room full of your peers. Sometimes, even though you know the pruning is in your best interest, it feels lonely and strange.
I could wrap this up with a charming story of how the the best grapes come from vines that are carefully pruned and how we should embrace these seasons in our lives for the way they will make us better people. But right now I’m stuck in the ugly feeling. Case in point: this was my dog several months ago.
And this is my dog after we brought him home from the groomer on Friday just after he had to be shaved practically to the bone because I had let his fur get irreversibly matted.
As if that Halloween bandana was supposed to take my mind off of the fact that my cute fluffy puppy now looked like a doggie disaster! Poor Chuck!
So now I’m thinking that going through the pruning season yourself is hard enough, but watching someone you love traverse through a similar season is even worse. (Especially when I feel somewhat responsible for the pruning season in Chuck’s life since I hadn’t read up on how to keep his coat brushed.)
Do you know this feeling? The pruning comes from various sources. Maybe through a humbling experience. I’ve felt it before when I messed up something at work. I’ve seen it happen to people after a Bible study that really challenged their thinking or identity. No matter how it comes, it can be an uncomfortable time.
When I look at Chuck right now, I just keep reminding myself it will grow back.
And he will be fluffier than ever! And so will you.