I came home from my walk yesterday with apples in my pockets and a rant in my mouth.
“I can’t believe these people!” I told my husband. “There are half a dozen fruit trees in this neighbourhood that haven’t been picked! I tell you, if your apples are hanging over the fence and if you haven’t picked them by the day the first winter storm is predicted, I’m taking some.”
I tossed him a cold crisp MacIntosh. “Here. It’s delicious!”
He looked at me with the suspicion of a man who remembers what happened the last time a woman offered him stolen fruit.
“And plums!” I added. “There’s a tree down the alley that is still loaded with Damsons. They could at least let some homeless people or single moms or some folks from the food bank with ladders come onto their property and fill up their boxes. It drives me nuts when perfectly good food goes to waste!
And this happens every year. And then the bears follow the scent into town in the fall and the deer are gorging on mushy fallen fruit and pooping everywhere and then the cougars show up and get shot because they scare parents and dog owners. Aaargh!”
I grew up on the Canadian prairies where the weather was too harsh for most fruit trees. Heaven, in my child’s mind, was filled with luxurious fruit you could simply reach up and take. Maybe it still is. But having fruit trees is like having pets. You’ve got to look after them. “Steward them” in Christianese.
I went over to the window to arrange my over-the-fence apples and take photos of them, because that’s what I do when the light is good, and I heard my Lord’s voice.
“I know how you feel.”
“I have made provision for you that you have failed to grab.”
“I don’t get it.”
“Exactly. You need to extend your faith a little to get it, but it’s there.”
Well. That shut me up.
I’ve been feeling inadequate for a task I believe the Lord has been asking me to do for ages. I’ve let opportunity after opportunity pass by like the seasons as I wait to be endowed from on high with inspiration, creativity, and resources.
What does extending faith look like?
It looks like getting out a ladder and reaching for provision unnoticed in the everyday. It’s refusing to let another season pass ignoring what you already have access to. Don’t take it for granted. Don’t be distracted. Don’t be lazy. Go for it! Then share.
I hear You.