is the branch that bears the fruit that feels the knife;
every budding twig be lopped, and every grace
thou, whose life of joy seems reft of beauty - shorn,
Though each desire, each dream, each hope of thine,
holds the knife, that cuts and breaks with tenderest touch,
-Annie Johnson Flint-
John 15:2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit...Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. 5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
& background by Mary Stephens