A few weeks ago I noticed that the vine in our backyard had started flowering. The flowers were pretty little white things with a beautiful scent that reminded me of stephanotis. So I did some research and decide that it must be stephanotis and I was quite please because the websites I looked at said it was really hard to grow, and because it reminded me a bit of home. My Oma has some growing at her house and the smell reminds me of there. Here’s a photo of stephanotis.
Yesterday our neighbour overheard J and I talking outside about the vine and warned me that it could be a cruel vine, well known by local councils to be a weed and a big nuisance. He told me to look out for big pods growing on the vine and just kill it if that happens. I told him that I thought it was a stephanotis but promised that I would keep an eye on it for the pods.
So I thought I’d better do a bit of research about this cruel vine that I’d never heard of before. I found this website. I’d seen those pods before when we did a working bee last year in our college community spaces. Someone thought they were choko, but the seeds inside behaved exactly like the website said. The vine out the back did seem to fit the description in the website. My heart started sinking a bit.
Then I checked again at pictures of a stephanotis. Of course, I remembered now that they had waxy, rounded leaves, and large clusters of long stemmed flowers. My vine wasn’t like that…
So now I feel stupid for nurturing a weed. I’d been trying to train it to run along the bamboo fence we have between us and the neighbour. I’d been hoping to take a cutting to grow a new plant for somewhere else, but wary knowing that stephanotis was hard to propagate. No wonder it had been growing so well without any help!
It makes me think of sin. Sin is our rebellion against God our creator by living our lives our own way. It is rejection of God and his words. Sometimes sin can look attractive. Sometimes it can look like it’s not doing any harm. But it chokes the life out of us. Unchecked it can grow and grow, without us even really noticing.
This weed, that I thought was pretty, will remind me that sin is deceptive. It will remind me to identify and root out the sin in my life. And it will remind me that nurturing sin does not bring life.