My apple tree

We planted several fruit trees about six years ago.  We had several.  But a couple of them just died.  A friend who came over to ‘help’ chopped down the healthiest one by accident. He’s no longer a friend, but that isn’t why.  He turned out to be a bad guy in other ways (not to us, personally, but it was later revealed that he had molested his own daughter, so I don’t feel the least bit guilty about disliking him).  Another of the last people in the world anybody would have ever suspected, including me this time.  But I digress.

 

There is one surviving tree, and the tags disappeared forever ago so we don’t know what it was. It has never produced fruit.  This spring after our return from the Philippines, it bloomed prolifically and was beautiful.  The daughter who lived in our house while we were overseas told me it had bloomed the two previous springs but produced no fruit, so I expected nothing.

Currently, it has about half a dozen of these beauties around its branches and I am swooning in delight.

Of course, it’s also being swarmed by Japanese beetles that need to die.  But my tree.

My pretty little tree.

My hardworking, survivor of a tree.

My fruit-producing tree.

The first tree ever that we purchased and planted and have seen bear fruit.

It’s really a special feeling, a combination of pride, gratitude, and wonder.  Plant a fruit tree.  Don’t waste time.  Do it now.

And whilst you wait for it to take root, grow, blossom, and finally, after ever so long, bear some fruit, think about all the growth happening where you cannot see it.  I had lost all expectation of ever seeing any fruit from my tree.  It was just going to be a shade tree from what I could tell, and not all that useful in that regard, since it’s on eastern edge of our yard so the shade in the hottest part of the day falls over the property line into the cornfield.

Plant a fruit tree.  Learn to wait and be patient, with yourself and with others. In today’s instant gratification, self-entitled, self-centered, call-out culture, people throw away friendships and budding friendships far too soon, assuming too quickly somebody is toxic, not worth keeping that friendship, not worth loving and protecting because they aren’t always comfortable or easy to have around.  Relationships get discarded, burned to the ground because ‘I don’t need that in my life.’

Maybe.  Sometimes that is the safest thing to do. But maybe the safest thing to do is not always best (I am not speaking here of abusive relationships, please don’t risk your life or your kids).  Maybe they need you in their life.  Maybe there is more growth than you realize, where you can’t see it.  Maybe.

If you have to cut somebody out of your life, do this.  Put them on your prayer list in a serious, meaningful way and be sure you pray for them sincerely, asking God to love them and bless them and nourish them.   If you can’t do that, consider that possibly you need to do some serious growing yourself. Possibly you are playing the role of a Japanese beetle in somebody else’s life.

Don’t have that prayer list you refer to regularly?  Then we know there’s some serious personal growth needed, don’t we?

Plant a fruit tree. Do some praying.

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