When he placed a bowl of fresh strawberries in front of me at the breakfast table, I knew I was in the home of a truly wealthy person. I was about ten-years old and our family was visiting an old friend who had inherited a grand Edwardian home in Vancouver. The previous owner kept it exactly the way it looked when his wife died in the twenties. It was a fine house with servant’s quarters, and call bells, inlaid parquet floors, and portraits of important-looking people peering down from the walls around the grand staircase. Our host gave me my own room with a four-poster bed and a Romeo and Juliet balcony -and strawberries on fine china for breakfast. I felt like a princess.
I don’t think my grandchildren believe me when I tell them that we didn’t have nectarines, or kiwis, or sushi, or even pizza when I was a kid. Pizza was a new fad when I started Jr. High school -and let’s just say it had not yet been perfected. We never had fresh green vegetables that didn’t come straight from the garden in the summer. We ate canned peas, corn and green beans and boiled carrots most of the year. Spinach was this vile black stuff in a yellow and red can that even Popeye would be loath to touch. Fresh Mandarin oranges, wrapped in green paper, only showed up at Christmas; peaches, nestled in wooden boxes, came off the back of a truck from the Okanagan in August; and strawberries, ah, beautiful strawberries, came in little woven baskets at the end of June. Strawberry season was so special that church ladies had strawberry teas just to celebrate. And we had strawberry shortcake with piles of whipped cream, or strawberry and rhubarb pie, or strawberries and ice cream for dessert until the season was over about a month later – but always at the end of the last meal of the day, after we had earned it by dutifully downing our mushy canned peas or yucky spinach.
But strawberries for breakfast? I had never tasted anything so good. Who has dessert first thing in the morning?
I was thinking about Jesus’ first public miracle when he changed the water into wine at Cana. When he chose to replace the water with wine and to use the six giant stone vessels that held water for religious purification rites, he was deliberately messing with some folks’ idea of decently-and-in-order. He provided a taste of the wine to come (which, in Biblical metaphorical language, represented The Messiah’s blood ) in a display that was just like His over-the-top grace. It was His job to show us what God, his Father, is really like, so He did. When the banquet manager tasted it, he was amazed that it was better than the wine the crowd was already a little tipsy on (because, as he noted, that they probably wouldn’t appreciate it properly by this point.) Like God’s grace, it’s quality was better than required.
At the wedding that marked the beginning of his public ministry, Jesus was giving a taste of the goodness of the Father, a filled-to-the-brim abundance of provision, to people who had no appreciation for its significance. John says he revealed his glory there – and he offered his family and friends a taste of the glory to come.
In God’s economy we do not have to strive to earn His favour. Like strawberries for breakfast, His goodness is served up for people who do not realize it is merely a taste of the glory to come.
Taste of His goodness; see how wonderful the Eternal truly is.
Anyone who puts trust in Him will be blessed and comforted.
This week I had strawberries for breakfast -with sushi.
5 thoughts on “Strawberries for Breakfast”
Dear friend, (may I call you that?) as I opened up your page this morning and read your post, I saw the beautiful photos and smiled & laughed at your story about strawberries for breakfast. Then, as I read on, I suddenly realized I was crying… that phrase, “the goodness of the Father”… what a beautiful truth that He so frequently reminds me of. You see, there was a time when I wondered (though I didn’t dare tell anyone, since I was a young pastor’s wife) if God was truly good… I seemed to know it in my head, but because of all the deep grief and sense of loss going on in my life at the time, it seemed like I had lost the quiet assurance deep in my heart, that indeed, God is good, loving, kind, and as Jeremiah 31:3 reminds us, “He has loved us with an everlasting love” that will not change. No. matter. what. Those days are long gone, and through the years I have learned that the pain in my life and all the loss that I experienced, was not God’s fault. I learned a vital life lesson: He is with me during those times, suffering with me, comforting me, holding me, assuring me He loves me. Thank you for yet another reminder today, that “the goodness of the Father” is far more than I can comprehend. Blessings & hugs to you! –Daisy
I feel absolutely honoured to be called your friend! It is people like you, who have known afflictions and pain, who can say with authority, “God is good.” I believe part of the advantage of suffering, besides building character, is that it leads to true unashamed hope that is not contingent on circumstances. Transparency is a characteristic of those who walk in authority. I am deeply touched by your comment today.
Abba adores you, you know.
The only pizza I remember having growing up was the kind mom made from the Kraft pizza mix box. Remember? Little packages of cheese and spices to sprinkle on top. Who knew you could actually make pizza dough from scratch?!
That’s sort of what I remembered too! I think ours was in a Chef Boyardee box. The only resemblance to real pizza was the spelling. I think it had the option of sausage in the can of sauce and dough that was a sad variation of instant biscuit stuff and never covered as much pan as it promised to. My dad thought it was disgusting so we had to wait until he was out of town to make it. But I also remember some of the American and Canadian students describing the perfect pizza to our Austrian pastry chef at college in England. It came out about four inches high and had to be eaten with a fork, but my, it was good.
Yes, trying to cover the pan with the dough was a workout! We had ours on Saturday nights after baths. Oh my:)