We live in an older neighborhood. It’s your average-middle-class-built-in-the-’70s-typical-ranch-at-the-end-of-a-quiet-cul-de-sac kind of house. The houses sit fairly close together, so our backdoor window and kitchen window overlook our driveway and the neighbor’s side and back yards.
Standing as a wall of separation along the edge of the driveway is the neighbor’s chain-link fence, where the previous owner loved to plant things. The fruits of her labor protrude over the fence, concealing the chain-links in a wall of green foliage.
The other morning, as I waited for my second cup of coffee to reheat in the microwave, I looked out the backdoor window to enjoy the view of my side of the garden. The brightness of spring had pounced out from behind winter’s shadows and awakened the neighbor’s sleeping rosebush with its streams of sunlight beaming down along the fence.
As I stared at this now fifteen foot tall “bush,” the profuseness of its cheery rosebuds thrusting themselves into the sunshine looked like little, pink heads with pixy faces, straining to absorb every ounce of warmth and light from the sun that was possible. As the little, rose pixy heads had blossomed on our side of the fence, their beauty was obscured from the neighbor’s view. I thought, “Lord, the neighbors aren’t enjoying these beauties as much as we are.”
Then, the Lord impressed me with the thought that this is a picture of death with its wall of separation. Though obscured from our view, those who have left this earthly life have, in reality, blossomed on life’s other side. If Jesus said that those who believe in Me have everlasting life and that He was the vine, then, as believers in Christ, those of us who continue in our earthly existence remain united with those in heaven.
Though physically separated, we continue to be linked together through the eternal life of the Vine. A smile then spread across my face, as the Lord whispered to my spirit, “The beauties of life on your side of heaven may fade and disappear, but they gain a new quality as they blossom on My side of heaven’s fence.
Just as the outburst of beauty of My roses comes from leaning into the sun, so, too, the beauty of My children comes from leaning into My Son. Whether on earth or here with Me, their beauty explodes in profuseness when they lean into their Source of warmth, peace, love, and joy.”
Filled with that peace, love, and joy from my companionship with my Source, I took my coffee, walked into the family room, and leaned into the warmth of the Son.
“I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you’re joined with Me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant.”
– John 15:5 (Msg)
“Father, I thank You that because of Your love for us all, You sent Jesus to be the connecting Vine to eternal life. As we are each a part of the Vine as a branch, we are connected to that eternal life, and death has no separation from You. Please help me to stay sensitive to the Holy Spirit, so I may continually lean into the warmth of the sun…”