On Saturdays I love to go to the Farmers’ Market. I always go to one particular stand because they have the most flavorful peaches, apples and fresh vegetables. At the Farmers’ Market I enjoy the eclectic mix of people as well as the fresh produce.
Because it is the fall season, apples and pears are in abundance. The number of varieties is astounding! When I go to the market I look for the fruit that is unblemished. If I arrive near closing time, often the bruised fruit are the only ones left. Everyone seems to desire the perfect fruit, not the damaged ones.
Unfortunately, so it is with people. Most people want the unblemished people. The ones with the mottled skin, bruised sections, worm holes or rotten areas are often discarded or overlooked. Each of us, at some point in our lives, has had at least one of these afflictions, yet the Lord has never rejected us.
I believe that if Jesus was the customer at closing time, when there appeared to be no hope of being chosen, He would gather up the unwanted fruit, bring it home and then find a useful purpose for it.
In fact, I am certain that if the Lord was the very first customer at the market, He would still select the ones that have some sort of disfigurement. If only all of us could see beyond the surface and taste the real fruit. With apples and pears the bruised fruit often contains the sweetest flavor once the bruised section is removed. With people I believe it is the same.
The Lord intermingles all of His fruit and blends it together into an incredible medley. It doesn’t have to be a dichotomy between apples and pears. An apple will always be an apple. It can never be a pear. An old adage says, “A pear tree cannot bear apples,” but you can mix them together and create exquisite fruit combinations.
In the body of Christ when we are blended together we can accomplish so much more than we can individually. Having healed blemishes is actually beneficial because it allows us to share in the sufferings of others. Then the Lord can use us to become His feast for the world.
Isn’t it great that God sees below the surface!
Right on! it is really a good thing that Jesus loves no matter how many bruises and rotten spots we have!
I agree with Tom and Kathy that it’s wonderful that the Father and the Son love us just as we are. But the article leaves a question and we need to grapple with it.
Why are we so repelled by the disfigured and damaged brothers and sisters around us? And how are going to manage to change our attitude?
My wife and I returned from a small group meeting this evening. She turned to me when we were on our own afterwards and said, ‘I feel weighed down by all these needy people’. I understand what she means, but there’s something very wrong here. Jesus wants to love others through us, he want us to let him use us as his hands and feet, ears and eyes. He wants to pour out his living water through us into a thirsty world.
We don’t have to do it in our own strength, but we do need to let him provide the strength, the wisdom, and the love that we lack.
He wants to build us up, and through us, others. He says, ‘I will build my church.’ But will we let him?
Chris, you have posed some very profound questions. They are ones that we all need to ask ourselves.
Excellent post, that I think really addresses some core aspects of the character of Christ. The Lord looks at the things that are foolish and says I love them, and I don’t reject them. In fact I love them. It’s much easier to reject in our natural person. Particular those things that we think are bruised. It’s also very beautiful how you highlight that God loves of a fruit salad, that he doesn’t turn around from our difference but he embraces them and desires to unite us together. Thank you for sharing to this imperfect fruit.
Reblogged this on Junction 242.
Love this. Reminds me of our tomato garden. A lot of work went into preparing the soil (which is on my mind today), and watching over the plants, watering them when we didn’t have sufficient rain, staking and caging the plants as they grew, that now I’m loathe to waste any of them. If they have a bad spot or two (or even half the tomato is a “bad spot”), it doesn’t matter, I cut out the rotten spots and use the good. And they really taste so good, what a shame to waste them. I guess the difference really is if we are invested something – in the case of produce, our care and labor, and in the case of people, our love.
Pingback: Single Parents « Crossroad Junction