One of the beauties of spring right now is the trumpet vine. Bright orange blossoms are displaying their beauty along fences, overhanging trellises and more. The fences around my house are covered in them. The other morning, I was watching squirrels darting along the power lines and something in the tree tops caught my eye. Was it an animal? A colorful, large bird? I have seen some interesting wildlife in my yard, so I was hopeful. Moving closer to get a better look, I realized it was a lone blossom from the trumpet vine. Many feet away from the other blossoms, it had wound its way up through the green and brown limbs, using the power pole as well, to find its way into the sunlight enough to bloom in its own unique place.
The phrase from John’s gospel suddenly darted through my mind – “I am the vine, you are the branches.” All the images I have had over the years of that passage are related to grape vines. The vines I see are sturdy and thick, visibly holding and securing the branches and fruit. But the image up in the tree was very different. There was no way I could see the vine that sustained that bloom. It was woven in and out of multiple trees, a pole and who knows what else in my neighbor’s yard.
It made me think – the metaphor of Jesus as the vine – often takes us to the places where we can best bloom. It may not be where we expect or with others who are in bloom. We may have to travel a long way, through other growth and challenges before we are in the place where we will bloom. But the vine will get us there. And, as a result, our bloom may bring beauty to a very special place – bright color to a place that truly needs it. Just some thoughts during this season of graduations and new beginnings. Trust the vine – you will bloom in just the right place.
Grace and Peace,