Monday, January 28, 2013

Dormant Vines

During the winter, our two vines are dormant. (Our vineyard is small, hence the name "cottage" vineyard, not vineyard cottage.)  That doesn't mean they are dead or useless.  The season of their lives is a quiet one, restful.  A similar situation has happened between the Vintner and I.  We realize that we are entering a new spring in our relationship.  We've had a dormant time between the two of us, because that was the season of our lives.  We needed to focus on our children and our home.  As we enter into a new phase, we are not changing from who we are.  We are changing from the child bearing years to a different type of production.  We are reaching out in a different way.  I can look to my vines and see that in just a few weeks, they will bud new leaves and begin a new yearly cycle.  In my own life, I had begun to think that winter was Right and True and Good, and how I would always live.  I thought that my social dormancy was some how better, and that a retired life was more virtuous.  This is not true.  "To Every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven." Ecclesiastes 3.1.  There are other seasons, too.  Yearly seasons, despite their beauty, are not the only ones.  Our lives are so full, if we are not so busy emptying them.  In my own life, I see a budding much like my vines will soon, and it's wonderful!

Friday, January 25, 2013

A Social Time

Here at the cottage vineyard, there isn't much to do during our dark nights.  I have time to get out and spread the gospel.  Not proselytizing, but going forth into the world with fellowship.  Showing people the joy that fills one's heart when one loves Christ as I do.  In the past few years, I've sat at home, quiet, not making trouble, but rather making needlework or yarn crafts.  While there's nothing wrong in a lady staying at home occupying herself in this manner, that's not quiet what it means to be a Christian.  Our deacon ends the service with, "Let us go forth into the world, rejoicing in the power of the Spirit."  After listening to this every week, I think it finally sunk in.  I need to not spend all my free time at home.  Pastoral care cannot be a solitary pursuit.  We are not Christians to be isolated.  Monastery life is not what Jesus had in mind for most people.  Listening to others with radical compassion, patience and love is an amazing way to spread the Good News.  Letting others see just how much joy is available to them in Christ.  Not lighting the candle and then hiding it under a bushel.