Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Writing--a Grafting Tool by Ruth Smith Meyer

A grape vine is an interesting plant to observe.  It will use any support it can find in order to grow as far as possible.  On his farm, my husband, Paul,  planted a cedar hedge for a windbreak.  Several feet in front of the small cedars, he also planted a grape vine. By the time I married him, those cedars were at least 30 feet tall and considerably larger in girth than when the seedlings were planted.  The fall of 2006 was a good year for grapes.  It made me smile as we used extension ladders to pick bushels of luscious and plentiful bunches of grapes that put a blue tinge on the cedars. A person not familiar with the shape of a grape plant would have marveled at how tall grape vines grow. I wish I would have taken a picture.

A week ago the message I presented to our church was Abiding—a loving invitation.  Jesus asked us to abide in him and he promised he would abide in us.  In order for that to happen though, we need to be attached to the vine.  You could take as many grape branches as you want and twist them around those cedars, but unless they were firmly attached to the true vine, they would wither and die.

I used Romans 10: 10 TLB  to explain the process of being grafted into the vine: “ For it is by believing in the heart that a person becomes right with God; and with his mouth he tells others of his faith, confirming his salvation. The word that saves is right here, as near as the tongue in your mouth, as close as the heart in your chest. It’s the word of faith that welcomes God to go to work and set things right for us. Say the welcoming word to God—“Jesus is my Master” —embracing it, body and soul. God’s work will do in us what he did in raising Jesus from the dead.”

This week while getting caught up on a few writing assignments, I ruminated on what I had talked about on Sunday.  I came to believe that the pen, or typewriter or computer can be an instrument of grafting as well as the tongue. What persuades me thus is the way my faith is strengthened when I write something that confirms what God has been doing in my life.  I like to think that at least some readers also are encouraged to grow in their faith.

Then I’m a little like that grape vine. Firmly fixed to and abiding in the true vine, I am free to climb whatever seems like obstacles before me. Those impediments can even make it possible for me to grow higher than I otherwise would or could. Still attached to my vine, drawing up nutrients from it, I can transform the cedars on which I climb, and colour them with the fruit the vine produces through me. All while just abiding in my Vine.

Ruth Smith Meyer finds delight in many things around her as she abides in the vine. She enjoys speaking to different groups, writing, reading and drawing or painting.  She wonders how she ever found time to work at a day job. You can find her books on line if you'd like to read her novels, memoir or anthologies in which she's had a part. 

1 comment:

Peter Black said...

A new twist on the branches and "abiding in the vine" analogy, Ruth, and so well done! But, extension ladders to bring in the grape harvest? Now that sounds like a quite a feat. I like your point as pictured in those high-climbing vines and their fruit: "Firmly fixed to and abiding in the true vine, I am free to climb whatever seems like obstacles before me." ~~+~~

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