This native Floridian bush nestled between my two oak trees has grown to over six feet tall. We planted this bush about five years ago. Don't ask me the name, I can't remember. Anyway, it blooms several times a year, starting with small yellow buds then a flourish of tiny pastel blue flowers cascade down on each branch. It's strong roots are resistant to our hot, humid climate and weathered our storms.
I love the old southern look among the trees and wild ferns. But this summer something strange happened. I'd walk by with my dog, as he sniffed and dodged bees when a whiff of something yucky hit my nose! I looked all around and couldn't find the owner of the odor. I thought maybe a squirrel died, or something. It became worse in the following days. I decided my beautiful bush needed pruning, to see what was under there. There's the hole where I started.
As I trimmed the wonderful bottom bushes, the light poured in to expose the awful smell. There nestled, hidden under the pretty flowers was the most ugly mushroom, I have ever seen. This one, I kid you not, was at least a foot wide and it was rotting.
The picture below, is not that one because I was too grossed out with the flies, smell and look to think about taking a picture. But this is the same type mushroom in the same place and I got it before it grew ugly. The pruned branches allowed me to see this quickly and remove it. Especially before my dog tried to eat it. (As he has done before and became very sick.)
"But all things become visible when they are exposed to the light." Ephesians 5:13
How many times do I walk around with all my beautiful branches waving in the wind, my faith, my works, my smile, my "holy assurance" only to have God whiff something rotten underneath?
I hated to cut those beautiful flowers, but it was the only way. God knows this odor owner and prunes away what is necessary. He's my soul's odor eater. His Spirit reveals my hidden sins, then takes them away. Does it hurt? Oh yes. But it's the only way. And I want Him to "odor eat" all my bad stuff, before it affects others.
May deep breaths reveal no stink.
Click on pictures to enlarge-photos by kevans