Thursday, June 17, 2010

Too Green or Too Ripe

In the early morning heat, six little legs ran down rows of blueberry bushes in search of the juicy fruit. Although Wyatt was disappointed that the blueberry farm didn't have animals, the clusters of dark blue-purple fruit easily within his grasp soon made up for it.

As I hurriedly filled my bucket without taking the time to eat even one, the twins darted between the rows, making it hard for me to keep them in sight. Wyatt, though, took his job seriously; he constantly picked and only ate the occasional berry, steadily covering the bottom of his small bucket.I don't think one berry even made it into Amelia's bucket--her mouth was a much easier target. And Emerson? Well, he picked berries, but the ones he grabbed from the branches were hard, bitter, and green or were the burst-open overripe ones that had already fallen to the ground.Thirty minutes in the South Louisiana heat and humidity was enough to leave us soggy, smelling like a teenager's gym bag, and with enough berries to make a couple recipes of jam.

But Emerson's berries? I tossed them out without a second thought. Until later.

Sure--over-ripe and under-ripe fruit isn't really good to eat. But it's not useless--the over-ripe still would make good jam; and when left on the branches, the under-ripe still has potential that I just ignore in search of the perfect fruit.

I'm afraid this is indicative of a negative spirit I have about everything in my life.

I learned my lesson last month about de-valuing the overripe. One very long month of kicking myself and watching the calendar...I made sure I didn't miss the nursing home ministry this past Tuesday. All I can say is what a blessing.

The residents may not even remember me by today. But it was wonderful to see how my children have grown since the first time I brought them in February, how they are learning to show others Jesus' love and to think of someone besides themselves. This time, Wyatt didn't have to be prompted to go speak to people; he even sang happy birthday to one lady.

Unfortunately, I think it's going to take me a lot longer to learn to view the green ones as anything but green. Most days, I don't see the potential. Sure, I catch glimpses.

But I confess that I still have a hard time seeing my children as anything but the fussy, crying, whining, sour-puss-faced, defiant, messy, maddening know-it-alls they are right now.

I guess that just means God's not finished with me yet.

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