The lifeless image of the vine, as it lies before the entire world to see. Its branches are widely displaced in every known direction, as each one appears dormant from the toiling of producing last season’s harvest.
For what is the greater of the two? The production of the fruit, or is it the ill effects of the loss of fruit that is no longer present?
Behold, the mighty sun’s rays have dried the branches in such a way, that many branches have fallen away. Whatever will become of them? The heavyweight of last year’s yield has disfigured me in ways that I have not experienced before.
Oh, how do those barren branches look so useless, each day in and out, they beg to somehow, very soon, to encounter the wisdom and the needed discipline of the Vinedresser!
Is there any life after death? Why is it that some have been cut-off, and lay to waste?
The last harvest is a fading memory, look at what has befallen me, see now how I’ve hardened and am seeming without life. Please do not reject me-for I know there is more to me that can produce…more fruit.
Father, what is the most desirable response in my lifelessness? Please enable me to bring forth that which Thou has a purpose for me, keep me from falling while enabling me to bear myself during this time of purging. My Lord, I gladly submit to the will of the Vinedresser. Let His sharp, cold blades invigorate my now dormant spirit for future restoration.
For what is the greater of the two? The production of the fruit, or is it the ill effects of the loss of fruit that is no longer present? I say that the greatest of all loss is the loss of not abiding within the Vine.
Grace and Peace
Brother Alonzo E. Thornton