Listen to the Master trimmer

By Irene Wilson | Published Saturday, August 5, 2017

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No clouds to obscure the sun, temperature soared. The heat shimmered off the road in front of the house. And while I enjoy hot temperatures, manual labor and heat combined made me a hot, sweaty mess.

I pulled the wooden handle attached to the red and black braided starter cord, and the engine on the trimmer sputtered. A second pull, my hand on the throttle and the engine came alive. I revved it.

The bushes had grown together, with twigs shooting off in all directions, like stray hairs in an old man’s unibrow. I knew the result would not be perfectly plucked or trimmed yaupons, like those sculpted into a graceful swan, trumpeting elephant or a dolphin diving into the sea. Instead I hoped for a rounded effect as uniform as possible.

No prior experience … I squared off the back and began rounding the sides, front and tops. I would trim, step back and look; trim, step back and look; as though my viewing would keep them even.

I finally convinced myself they were similar enough and looked good, better than when I began. What causes me to feel the need for precise-ness (is that a word?), perfection, even on an outside bush?

I remember another time I tried to make something even-steven.

She sat in front of me on the kitchen cabinet, her 3-year-old legs dangling off the Formica speckled top. “Be still,” I admonished.

A simple task, it should be easy enough; just a snip, clip and I would be done. Finishing, I took her chubby chin in my fingers and turned her to face me. The blond locks surrounding her face hung unevenly and the bangs starting at her right eyebrow, angled upward away from her left.

If she had curly ringlets, it wouldn’t be so noticeable. I began again, trying to make her straight hair presentable, even and balanced. I cut, she wiggled, until her bangs were about 2 inches long and her tresses only to the bottom of her ears. So noticeably stubby and uneven I would put a sock hat on her except the dog days of summer were in full force with shady temperatures at 100 degrees.

Both her grandmothers were so angry I chose to play beauty shop they didn’t speak to me for about two weeks, until her hair began to grow. Never again … leave haircuts to someone trained with shears.

But sometimes life gets lopsided, and I try to straighten it up because it’s not what I want. I snip, cut and round edges working to create a balance, to find angles congruent to my liking, usually leaving out the Master trimmer, the knowing One. He protects what needs to stay and whittles away the uneven pieces. Ah … to leave the scissors and trimmers of life in His hands and be patient as He sculpts a masterpiece.

Irene Wilson

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