Two apple trees in our garden had broken branches after a stormy night a few weeks ago. Though quite old already, they still bear much fruit. It was the type of apple that the Sisters like most – “Belle de Boskoop.”
After some time the other broken branch started to wither but the other continue to thrive because it’s broken branch is still halfway attached to the tree. I was reminded of the Scripture passage about the vine and the branches (John 15:1-8): “Remain in me, as I in you. As a branch cannot bear fruit all by itself, unless it remains part of the vine, neither can you unless you remain in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me, with me in him, bears fruit in plenty; for cut off from me you can do nothing… ”
I like the look of the broken branch. It gives me much food for thought. For I, too, was broken. Life somehow has wounded me along the way. There was a time when I almost felt as if I was getting detached from him. I was broken but not separated from him – just like that branch.
Jesus is the tree, I am the branch that was almost cut off from him. I say, almost. He continued to transmit life into me through that part that was still attached to him. His life in me gave me strength. The flow of his life ripened whatever fruit I bear. He gave me a new reason to hope. He gave me the courage to accept my woundedness and to grow from it. Jesus did not let me go. He did not let me be separated from him. He took me back and healed me.
Maybe you have a similar experience. We get wounded at one point in our lives. Some are deep wounds, some perhaps were just scratches, but wounds nonetheless. As long as we are still here on earth, we will get wounded, we will be broken. But as we continue to hold on to him, he will heal us; and he will use our mended brokenness and healed woundedness to help others who are wounded and broken as well. We will become instruments of his healing love and signs of hope and inspiration to others. If we remain in his love, he will see us through. For “who can separate us from the love of Christ?” (Romans 8:35-39)