I have a fiddle leaf fig. I love it. It’s one of my favorite plants. It was given to me by my parents a few years ago. When I got it from the florist, it was big and beautiful and quite healthy, as well it should be from the professional florist. In my little office with a tall, thin window casting a limited amount of light, it began to look, well…not so professional. At one point it began to look downright sick. Leaves were dropping everywhere. The ones that weren’t dropping were becoming brown. Not enough water? Too much water? Not enough light? Too hot? In the wrong place in the room? My favorite plant was quickly becoming a drooping mess. “What to do,” I asked my friend, the plant specialist.

“Prune it back,” was the reply. Cut it down. Trim it up and almost cut it back to the bottom. It was the only hope for my once beautiful and thriving plant. Cut off the dead and dying stalks and leaves. Re-pot it and see what happens was the suggestion. And so I did it one afternoon. I brought it back into my office as just a stalk to see what would happen next. I had lost all hope for fiddle leaf survival.

That was almost 2 years ago. Now it stands almost three feet high once again with beautiful fig leaves of green. I water it once a week and place it in front of my still tall and thin window for the weekend. I no longer close the blinds. The sun shines through clearly over the weekend, even though the office lights are off. And it loves the light.

Recently, I have noticed that I haven’t turned it enough. While I have put it in the window, it appears that I have put it in the same place each time. For you see, the top of the plant is turning toward the light. It is growing at curve, arching its fiddle stalk toward the sun that is the source of life. Oops. I’ll have to remember that. This Thursday, when I put it back on my desk in front of the window, I’ll give it an extra turn to try to straighten up that one little arching part. It may take a few weeks, but it will always reach for its life giving sunshine.

Pruning is never easy. I don’t like to do it plants and I sure don’t like when it’s done to me. But pruning is necessary for growth and survival. Ask a tree man. Ask a plant expert. Ask those who have gone through a period of pruning in life. Nope, it’s never easy. But always necessary. Have you been pruned lately? Do you need to reach for the sunlight once again? There is hope for new growth and we can be fruitful once again.

“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

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