About five years ago, my husband came home from The Home Depot with two baby grapevines for us to plant. It was so… random.
- We don't really garden or landscape. I mean... I have more of a purple thumb than a green thumb... I kill everything. Honestly, I'm pretty impressed that we have kept the one bush in our front yard alive as long as we have.
- Grapevines?!!? Why a grapevine? Who plants grapevines???
But he was excited, and when he's excited then I have learned to let him roll with it. Little did I know that those two grapevines have turned out to have the best spiritual lessons… ever. I'll share just one...
My hubby, new baby, and I went on a trek to Colorado to visit his brother. While we were gone, my brother stayed at our house (at the time he was living with my parents so it was nice to have his "own" place for a couple of weeks) and he agreed to water the plants while we were gone. I actually was making a feeble attempt to keep a rosemary plant alive on the porch (yeah... it's dead now) and we had those two grapevines right next to it.
Well, I sorta neglected to mention to my brother to water the grapevines (see... evidence already that I'm not such a good gardener) but luckily for one of the vines it was next to the rosemary plant so he just sorta watered them both. The other vine... well, let's see: a Texas summer. no water for two weeks. Yeah, it was crunchy and crispy when we returned.
Why I watered it... I still have no idea. Probably because I was too lazy to take it out of the big barrel thing we had it in. So, I watered it. Every day. Just... cause. And turns out...
it was alive.
The branches had no leaves, no fruit, no appearance of life. But it the vine itself... was alive.
I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5Even though someone might appear spiritually dead. fruitless. worthless. does not mean that the LIFE of Christ is not still alive within them. does not mean that they do not have the potential to still bear fruit. does not mean that they are to discarded from our lives, tossed into the trash of our souls, and forgotten as a could-have-been Christian friend.
But it could mean that they just need water.
Those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life. John 4:14And some patience. Offer those people the Water of Life every day even if they still don't seem to be "alive", or bearing fruit, and especially when they don't appear worthy of The Water. And offer it to them after they begin to show signs of life again... after a small bud of fruit appears... after they might show signs of being "worthy" (ha- as if any of us are worthy of That Water)!
One small note to close on about this grapevine... after the grapevine came back to life, we "nicknamed" it after a friend of ours that was spiritual "dead", that was not bearing any fruit, that appeared worthless and unworthy... in our hopes that her life would bear the same testimony.
And her life is slowly, slowly turning towards The Life... just as slowly as that precious grapevine of ours recovered. But look at our two grapevines now...
you would think that the smaller of the two is the one that went unwatered that summer, but no... the huge, flourishing vine with seven bundles of grapes on it... that is the one that struggled. that didn't have any fruit. that appeared dead. Turns out... it just needed some water.
“People who are well do not need a doctor, but only those who are sick. I have not come to call respectable people, but outcasts.” Mark 2:17