In the 1995 20th Century Fox movie A Walk in the Clouds, Keanu Reeves stars as orphan turned WWII hero Paul Sutton. Upon returning stateside, he falls in love with Victoria Aragón whose family owns a Napa Valley vineyard and winery. Though drawn to the strong family ties demonstrated by the Aragóns, Sutton is rejected by Victoria’s domineering father as not good enough for his daughter. During an argument between the two, the older man throws a lantern, igniting the tinder dry grape vines, engulfing the vineyard in flames.
Then Paul realizes the parent vine (brought from Spain), though burned, did not take the brunt of the fire. He cuts into the root to discover there is still life in the heart of the vine. Though it will take time and hard work, the family’s fortunes are restored, and Paul is welcomed into the family.
In the NIV, Isaiah’s messianic prophecy includes the phrase stump of Jesse, which indicates that Christ will come from the line of King David. But David’s line has been all but destroyed, like the parent vine from the Aragón vineyard. However, no matter how dead things may look, there is life under the surface.
Even when it seems too late, that we’ve been abandoned, that the tree is dead, God may just be up to something.
TODAY’S MEDITATIONDo you need to see a new branch sprout from the stump of your life? What might that look like?