I don’t know if anyone has missed Vineyard Gleanings. It’s been six weeks since the last post because life in the vineyard was put on hold. I had surgery, a more major surgery than I was willing to admit. Cancer put me on the sidelines. About three weeks ago the reality and grief really hit home. I noticed a disease was rampant in the vines and would likely ruin the fruit. There will be no harvest of any value this year. A disease is wreaking havoc with the vines and I am unable to do anything about it because of a disease in my body. I actually cried about it one day and it occurred to me that I was grieving. I was grieving the loss of the fruit of my labor and the hope that it represented. I’ve noticed the depression I feel when I walk by the vines and see, not necessarily what is, but what might have been. Its depressing. There is a passage of Scripture that reminds me that as a believer in Jesus I grieve in a different way than others do. I know that God is all about bringing life out of death. There can be no greater, ever present evidence of this than in nature. I can’t go out and cut away all the evidence of loss and disease from the vines. Even if I could it wouldn’t make the sense of loss go away – I can’t hide from it – and it wouldn’t be good for the vines which will live to bear fruit another season. This has to run its course. So does grief. I’ve learned to think different thoughts, to speak differently to myself when I see fruit all over the ground. Pain that isn’t transformed is transmitted. I choose transformation, hope. In the end that’s called good grief.