In the days after hurricane Irma people asked me how the vineyard fared. Stripped bare but not destroyed. Today, two months later, the vines are in leaf and there are even new grapes. Though I don’t expect to harvest any fruit and it is only a matter of time until these new leaves give way to winter’s rest, it is an assurance to me that the vines are okay and next year will bring a new harvest. Though the outside was torn and broken, the heart of the vines is still alive. Living hearts are capable of amazing things. In my experience as a forester with Weyerheauser Co. and the Army Corps of Engineers I sometimes saw trees in the aftermath of fires that appeared to be wiped out by the blaze. The only way to immediately tell if they were yet alive was to look on the inside, at the heart. Natural disasters happen, pardon the pun, naturally. And stuff happens to us too. We are afflicted but not crushed; perplexed but not forsaken; struck down but not destroyed because, at the heart, we have a treasure: the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. As long as the heart is good there is life. That is why we are told to guard our heart. Because from the heart flow all the issues of life.