In an attempt to beautify the small awkward front yard on our awkward corner lot, we have planted climbing vines. We planted the vines a few years back, inviting them to weave and climb through a small red trellis. However, over time it outgrew its red home and began flopping over and grabbing onto things below or next to it rather than crawl upward as it was being trained to do.
Thus began my first exercise at detangling. Gently undoing a vine’s hold on its lattice is a slow process requiring far more patience than I have readily available. I may or may not have uttered a few curse (cuss, if you are from the South) words under my breath in the arduous process. Disentangling without critically damaging is a challenge.
From the vine’s perspective, my hands probably felt like those of a traitor or an enemy, ripping it from its comfortable and complex woven home. Why would I plant it and encourage it to lean on the lattice and then pull it away?
The vine does not understand that it is being disentangled from one lattice to be woven into a lattice which will allow it to continue its upward growth; after all, vines that have outgrown their lattice cannot and will not thrive.
Once the new lattice was laid, large and spacious compared to its predecessor, I began the opposite process: leading the vine, strand by strand, loosely into its new home. In some places, the vine resisted the new weaving and had to be taught to bend new ways, in other places, it just naturally bent in and through new crevices. The goal was not to micromanage the vine but rather to give the vine enough form to grow wildly and freely.
When the vine begins to reach the limits of this current lattice, we will begin the process again, in an attempt to keep the vine in its upward climb to thrive and have room in which to roam and grow.
The Lord tends to His vines, His children, far better than we do ours. The hands that train and disentangle to retrain are trustworthy hands, hands willingly scarred for their good.
Wherever you are on your trellis, whether it be a disentangling season, an overgrown season or a healthy growing up on an appropriate lattice, know this: there is a vine trainer who is committed to your upward crawling growth.