Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Fruit of the Vine

Fruit of the Vine, originally uploaded by chanchanchepon.
A few years ago, I went to hang out with my friend JR in Hollywood, and see how he and his crew were preparing for the launch of a new church in East Hollywood near Los Feliz, Thai Town, and Little Armenia. My brother and I attended the first gathering of this church together. It was a pretty cool morning because my brother was able to meet a number of my friends on the west coast, and we were able to just spend some quality time together as we made the long drive from Orange County to Hollywood and back.

That afternoon, he and I, along with his wife and son, took a little trip to one of the most beautiful places I have been on the West Coast--Laguna Beach. While we were sitting eating gourmet pizzas in a local laguna restaurant, my brother began drawing. We had enjoyed communion together with the church earlier in the day, and perhaps his mind drifted back to that moment as he drew. We were in one of those restaurants that gives people crayons and the tablecloth is made from paper, so we were enticed to be artistic. Well, my brother has a gift and a flair, I believe for capturing the profound in a simple sketch.

He drew this picture. It might not seem all that complex, but it has intrigued me since I watched him draw it. I asked him to sign it, and I took it with me from the restaurant, and I have kept it with me since that day.

For me, when I look at the grapes producing liquid, and that liquid going into the glass I think of a number of things. I think that is a quality of good art--it sends your mind going from a central idea in a number of directions.

Today, as I think about it, I think about my life. Jesus told us that He is the vine and we are the branches--apart from Him we can do nothing. Whoever abides in Him bears much fruit. I think about the fruit I am bearing on my branch. You see we are all branches either connected to the vine or not connected--if we aren't connected, we die. If we aren't strongly connected, the fruit we bear will be minimal. If we aren't pruned regularly, we won't produce the best fruit. Fruit like this cluster of grapes that is slowly dripping into the glass and becoming something that can be given to other people.

Is your life producing the kind of fruit that can provide sustanance to other people? Are you rooted to the vine? How is God transforming your fruit that it may be used in ways you had never expected?

So much profundity in such a simple illustration. Thanks Chuck, for this beautiful work of your hands, and the beautiful way of living that you demonstrate!

No comments: