Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Vines (11/21/05)
TITLE: Leaves of Ivy
By Patrick Verbeten
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Letís take a little closer. Look carefully at those leaves. Some are luscious and deep green, others pale and smallish. To discover which leaf comes from what plant, you would have to go to their roots, find their source. The plants in well-nourished soil have a strong vine and robust leaves. The less nourished vines are weak and their leaves reflect their poor conditions.
How can this be? There was a time when there was just one plant. The Gardener planted it to the right of the doorway in the best soil He could find. And the ivy spread like wildfire. Not only did the plant grow up with luxurious jade leaves, but it also sent runners under the soil to start new plantings. Before too long there were dozens of ivy vines beginning to envelop the dwelling. And those dozens sent off hundreds of runners until now the entire house is draped with ivy.
Now, if you look with your spirit and not your eyes, you will see faces. You see, each leaf is unique. It is you. It is I. We are intertwined with all the other vines of ivy. Many of the faces shine with the very persona of Christ, but some alas, are barely able to survive. And, if we are the leaves, then our churches are the vines. Each vine came from the Vine, yet now each is special. And, though some vines produce more-so luscious leaves, each has its purpose in covering the whole of the building.
Finally, letís look at individual vines. On any given plant, there are actually a wide variety of leaves. The best plants do not have a monopoly on the best leaves, and, occasionally, they even have motley leaves. Conversely, mighty giants of leaves can and do come from weaker vines. Quality leaves come when the leaf takes as much nutrition from the vine as it can and positions itself to gain the most exposure to the sun as is possible. As leaves that form the vine of Christ, we too need to get as much nutrition from our church vine and position ourselves to get as much Sonshine from Godís Word as possible. So dear ivy leaf, grow where you are planted, and grow to be the best leaf you can be.
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