For about three years, we lived in a small home on Pokok Palma lane. One of the redeeming qualities about this nothing-to-brag-about-house was the big mango tree in the front yard. Every year during mango season, it would be laden with fruits. The branches were heavy with clusters of sweet and sour goodness, waiting to be harvested. The tree would be covered with specks of yellow and green, and here was the best part -- our tree was uncommonly worm-less. Every fruit was a good fruit.
Surely, this is the image we should see when we read in Genesis, "be fruitful and multiple" (Genesis 1:26-30). Often, we think of this as the mandate to procreate, as in producing children "to fill the earth." However, having one or two or even twelve children is nothing compare to how nature bears fruit.
There are days when I wallow in discouragement and self-pity. It happens most consistently when I am looking for the wrong kind of fruits. You know, the worldly kind. The kind that comes with a grade, human praise, a degree, promotion, money, etc.
Last Saturday, as I was doing the dishes, I had an epiphany. I realized that right then, I was bearing a fruit. By performing this mundane task of applying soap and rinsing the plates, while obediently wearing my yellow gloves upon Hans' request to protect my dry hands--I was bearing a fruit, unto the glory of my Father in heaven. A tiny fruit, yes. An unappreciated fruit, perhaps. A fruit, nonetheless.
Vacuuming. Cleaning the stove top. Scrubbing the toilet. Fruits.
A thank you note. Another fruit.
Doing homework. Yet another.
Getting enough rest. Fruit.
A walk with Emeth to see the ducks and squirrels. Several fruits.
Homemade yogurt that saved the milk. And another.
Discipline. Discipline. Discipline. A slow growing, but essential fruit.
An email. Fruit.
Keeping my body tone in preparation for the delivery. Fruit.
Peeling grapefruits. Making dumplings. Baking that cake. Fruits!
We bear fruits when we obediently and faithfully carry out the tasks that God has set for us. Each task should bring about joy, contentment, and gratitude.
Many of these fruits do pass away and go unappreciated. Some will fall to the ground and be forgotten. Others will be eaten by squirrels rather than kings. But so what? The idea is for our branches to be laden, heavy with clusters of sweetness. Hopefully, by being a fruitful tree, we give glory to our creator and draw others to him.
Even as I am typing this, a friend is fading because of cancer. Very soon, her five-year-old daughter will not be able to see her for a while. Do I have any excuse to remain idle?