The paradoxes of our God. They are "kind and merciful," but fail to "bear fruit" and it's "cut it down." Should it be any other way? After all, what good are we if we fail to bear fruit? It's certainly a truth we seem fond of, with our "makers vs. takers" ideologies. But is the fruit we value what God desires to eat? Does she have a hankering for our money and power? Or does he prefer something a little more kind and merciful? Is repent or perish a threat to the abused children of a harsh parent, or a warning to the lemmings who stubbornly refuse to see the looming chasm? "Whoever thinks he is standing secure should take care not to fall." Yes, indeed. But fall we shall, and fail to bear fruit we will. And when we do, whom will God be: the landowner demanding we be cut down or the gardener pleading for one more year? Perhaps it will depend on which one we were when we dealt with our brothers and sisters. If we're lucky, God keeps asking for one more year until the landowner gives up or dies.