29 October 2010

Where fruit meets faithfulness

The apple.
Fruit, delicious to the tongue, health for the body.  The more thoughtful effort expended to care for the tree--its growth, vitality, protection, needs--the better fruit produced.

The farmer tenderly cares for hundreds of trees...soil, roots, branches, blossoms, fledgling fruit, and fully developed apple.  All through the year.

He rejoices to see good growth, health beaming.  He sorrows when the tree faces diseases, pests, storms, enemies of all kinds.  Carefully the farmer searches out sources of help and tends the trees, working to restore them to full health.

At harvest time, the flawed fruit is tossed aside and the perfect apples are placed in a large bin.  Fit to share with the multitudes worldwide.  Sold for the farmer's livelihood.

Some are kept.  The farmer wants to use his apples for himself, his family, his friends and neighbors.  Others come in and glean from the trees, from the ground.  They're not so choosy...small ones, scarred ones, they can still be enjoyed.

Of course, many stay in the orchard.  Turning slowly back to the soil from which the farmer planted the trees in.

you see we don't try and make dinner the same day we make applesauce...thanks Costco pizza!

But that farmer, he enjoys many delicious foods from his labor.  Applesauce, jarred up to savor all year long. Pies, salads, treats, and even cider.





pulp to be squeezed


He labors in harvest and then returns home to labor at preparing a party.  Many come, celebrating the harvest with a cider press and dinner replete with bonfire.  Washing, cutting, tossing, churning, pressing, pouring, and finally drinking!

He delights in seeing the smiles, sharing his bounty in this way.

And some would say it's time for rest.  But not yet.  He cleans up the party, goes back to his orchard for a second round of picking, and continues caring for the needs of his trees.

All the while, he's helping in the corn fields bringing in the harvest, caring for his aging father, playing his trumpet at worship in church, serving his equally hard-working wife, patting his elderly dog, and observing all the good gifts the LORD of the Harvest offers.

A faithful life speaks louder than many true words.

...However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?

photos: fall visit to the farm, text: Luke 18.8b

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