Apparently, I heard it said, that Marvin received the news that made him just about to lose his mind on the grapevine.
The concept of the grapevine remains a very rich one in my understanding. That whole web of intrigue and gossip feeds a frenzy of misinformation and manipulation to people far and near, related and completely unrelated. No wonder gossip magazines, blogs, TV programmes and video channels online remain so popular. People love their juicy gossip.
Of course it would be lovely to say that church circles aren’t like that. Yet there are instances where that gossip and intrigue tittilates the ears of ‘concerned’ brethren who just want to ‘share’ something that both of you can ‘pray about’. People’s characters and reputation are all in the balance as the poisoned well spews out its toxicity through words, slowly eroding the conscience of people who should be loving and supporting rather than bitching and moaning.
Flavour of the day one minute becomes the ugly condemned the next minute all because of the grudge that refuses to let go. A little bit here and a little bit there and before you know it whatever you thought of an individual is forever tainted by allegations and unproven statements that you don’t even take the time to address because the doubt is set in.
Much as I might get bothered about the grapes of wrath and bitterness that flow through the grapevine there is a pure alternative.
Recently I was reflecting on Jesus referring to Himself as the true vine. It was a picture of being informed, defined, nurtured and enabled to flourish by the living water. That picture of fruitfulness through truthfulness was refreshing in a way I had not appreciated before. That constant connection left no room for infiltration of nastiness. That abiding is so critical to keeping a right mind on God and thus a right mind regarding others.
Going with the flow of the living water enriching each aspect of life. Such a challenge to do when surrounded by a culture immersed in something so different. Yet it’s so liberating.
Perhaps that would help others to stop losing their minds.
For His Name’s Sake
C. L. J. Dryden