..."and a highway shall be there, and it shall be called the way of holiness; evil minded people shall not travel on it, but it shall be for those wayfarers who are traveling toward God. (Isaiah 35:8, adapted)

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Judgment amidst the Falling Apples

We have this really old apple tree in our yard.
When we have the pruning man over to trim it, he
is always amazed. Its a great tree, although
by now it has lost quite a few major limbs.
It still, however, produces large quantities
of apples. Baldwin apples to be exact.

My job, each fall, is to pick them all up.
We are an organic folk, and don't spray,
and our hand apple picker just doesn't
work right. So all the apples fall to their
destiny on the ground. I hear them, especially
at night, falling with a padded "thud" to the
earth below.

What got me to thinking is my approach to
picking the apples up. It takes longer
than it should because, being a "waste not,
want not" kind of gal, I examine each
apple to see if it worth saving. We make
applesauce, apple pies, dried apples,
apple cakes. You really should stop by
in the autumn if you are hungry.

Instead of just picking up all the apples
and throwing them all away, I sort through
and inspect their defects, hoping that,
through any means, some can be "saved."

I think about how God looks at me, and
where it not for the grace of Jesus,
and His sacrifice for us, there would
be no hope, but realize that all our
works shall be judged by God and
He shall look so very carefully
at us and make all hidden things

So it takes forever to sort the apples,
not wanting to be unfair to the good ones
and just dismiss them with the bad.

Some apples, perhaps most, because we do not
spray, have worms in them. So some are
too wormy to be saved. Some have fallen
on the hard, wooden steps and because
of the hardness are broken to pieces,
Many of the large ones make it to the
ground safely, but then are eaten
by chipmunks or squirrels. The sweetest
ones are attacked by ants and slugs.
The hardest ones will never ripen properly.
Some look fine but have fallen in such
a way that the damage is hidden.
Others have rot and will damage the
other apples if they get too close.
If Jesus had been born in New England
the parable of the sower might
have been about fallen apples.

Yes, spiritual lessons left and right,
overwhelming my thinking and causing
my ability to judge them to slow way
down. Yikes. Now I have moved from
how God will judge me to how careful
I need to be in judging others.

This morning as I was out there picking
up the apples, judging them into good
and bad piles, I saw a little apple
that, for some reason made me smile.
it didn't have much going for it,
not overly big, a bit mishapen,
but a lovely red, shining in the sun,
but no worms, no rot, no damage.
Something in that apple made me want
to save it. I love that God looks
at me that way, and you, too.

May we co-operate with who God has
made us to be, no matter where we
have fallen, or no matter what
issues we have. God's grace is different
from man's opinions and man's judgements.
His judgments are righteous and true.
Sobering but comforting at the same time.

As I picked up the apples, I told
God, "You can have the judgment job,
its just too much too handle."

A word to the wise is sufficient.


Ruth said...

I just realized that I don't think I have ever commented on this blog, but I read most of the posts with focused attention and always find them rich with spiritual food, lessons for a very hungry soul. Thanks.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

The Pen of The Wayfarer said...

thanks, Ruth, may the Lord bless you!

desertsolitary said...

I haven't ever commented either. In fact, I just discovered this blog a few weeks ago. But I read it regularly. I was so blessed by this post. Thank you.

May the Lord bless and keep you.

The Pen of The Wayfarer said...

Hi Desert Solitary, what a great screen name! did you find me through Desert Companions?

Peace, Rose-Marie