I like tomato cages. They look rather ridiculous when the tomato plants are 3 inches tall. Who needs a tomato cage then? But before you know it, the plant shoots up, and the cage is so useful. The earlier you put the cage in, the better it is for the plant. Its roots work around it. Funny thing is, the cage doesn't really seem to touch the plant anywhere.
Anyway, this fella started off without a cage. He was little. He didn't flop over very far -- look at the base of his stem. See how it's leaning over? I rescued it in time, and am using this piece of sign wire to support the plant. I can't straighten out his stem now though; it would break, but I can encourage the rest of him to grow straight up, and he'll still be a great plant with delicious fruit.
But others are left to themselves, and humans left to themselves founder and fall into sin. It's not too late, however. The rules and restrictions of discipline and assistance may feel more onerous, and we may lean rather heavily against them, but good growth and productivity are still possible. You can't go back and erase the past; sometimes the evidence of past struggles remains. But everyone -- everyone -- benefits from intervention, from rescue, from redemption. That's the message of the cross.
When you see a young person struggling along life's path, or an older person who has clearly lost his way, say a prayer for his rescue. No one should be left in the dirt.