The other day my kids and I were out running a few errands and decided stop to eat lunch. While I was getting the baby out of the van my son proceeded to pull leaves off of the tree we had parked beside.
"Duh? (I thought) Stop! That tree doesn't belong to you and does not appreciate little boys pulling off its leaves. Would you like it if someone started pulling off your fingers? (fingers?- that's all I could think of)", I said in the famous mommy tone of voice.
Through the look of horror in his eyes he said, "I don't want anyone to pull off my fingers. I'll stop."
This happened several days ago but I haven't been able to get it out of my mind and off my heart. It has reminded me of the passage in John 15 where Jesus is speaking of the vine, the Vinedresser, and the branches that are or are not bearing fruit.
"Abide in Me (Jesus), and I in you. As the branch cannot bear
fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you,unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches.He who abides in me, and I in him,
bears much fruit; for without me you can do nothing.If anyone does not abide in
me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered."John 15:4-6a, NKJV
"By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so
you will be My disciples."John 15:8, NKJV