In summer, there are plenty of plants and flowers flourishing in Beijing. The creeping vine is the least conspicuous plan, and I wouldn’t think of it, if it hadn’t been for the creeper on the wall in front of my new apartment.
Relaxation brought by the creeper
In my last apartment, there was nothing in particular outside the window except for another row of buildings. I was rather delighted that my present apartment faces a wall with a creeping vine, which makes it a green and vibrant scene to appreciate. Unlike other plants, the creeper doesn’t bloom nor does it have strong stems. It climbs up on the courtyard wall vigorously and decorates it with lush green leaves. Even though it can’t give off fragrance nor offer shade in summer, I could hardly ignore it when a whole wall was occupied with its leaves. Its very existence declares the beauty and vibrancy of life. I felt relaxed by just looking at it from time to time. It’s especially pleasant to appreciate the greenness of these leaves after a whole-day’s work, as it provides me with something else to contemplate, apart from focusing on daily routines.
Renovation of the wall
Unexpectedly, it didn’t take long for the community to decide to renovate the courtyard wall. I watched the renovation workers cutting off the creepers in one afternoon, during which a green wall turned into a bare one. “Why wouldn’t you keep the creepers? The wall looks bare and bleak now”, I asked a worker once. “It will be looking pretty when we are done”, he replied. The renovation was completed one month after our conversation. The courtyard walls were painted all white with vivid patterns on it. It looks newer and brighter than before. However, it seems that there is still something missing. No matter how nice the graphic design is, it still cannot compare with the natural beauty that the creepers bring.
Rebirth of the creeper
With time passing by, I nearly forgot about the creepers until I found that some of them were growing and climbing on the wall again one day! In spite of its sparseness and tenderness, it looked promising and lively.
The worker was right. The wall did look better now; with the reappearance of the vines. Astounded by its vitality, I observed the creeper more closely and discovered some interesting similarities between the creeper’s growth and the Christian life.
The creeper and the Christian
Firstly, both the creeper and the Christian need to cling on something stronger that themselves to live. What a wall is to the creeper, is what God is to a Christian. The wall is like God. It is the foundation that nourishes the growth and allows the vine, like the Christian, to flourish, for apart from God we can do nothing.
Secondly, the destructive removal process couldn’t separate the creeper and the wall.
Likewise, nothing can separate the love between God and a Christian. Although the creepers were cut off from the wall and it seemed there was no hope for them to remain alive, they did grow again!
In our life as Christians, we will face difficulties and tribulations, which seem to separate us from God at the time. Nevertheless, the Apostle Paul asserted that nothing will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.When facing adversities, we should be like the creeper, reborn from our pains and cling to the stronghold, our Lord, even closer.
Thirdly, as the creeping vine makes the wall shine, Christians should follow Jesus’ path, do good works, and give glory to the Lord.
“In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven”. (Matthew 5, verse 16)
What an inspirational plant the creeper is! As a Christian, it’s worthwhile to learn from the creepers, to live a low-key, but vibrant life with the strength of God that brings glory to Him!
Cindy Cheng was born and brought up in central China. Cindy enjoys travelling and reading history books. Cindy is inspired by talking with local people when travelling abroad experiencing different parts of the world, as well as herself.
Cindy’s previous articles may be found at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/cindy-cheng.html