Sunday, July 27, 2008

Finding Ripe Berries

Yesterday was warm, but slightly overcast with a soft breeze. Picking blackberries in July can be a challenge as the largest volume of ripe blackberries usually happens in early August in this part of the world. Picking fruit, especially blackberries, raspberries and beach plums has been one of my favorite activities all of my life. I love growing things, so even when we haven't had space for a garden, I make sure we pick things fresh. My mother is a renown jelly maker, and so I have spent a good deal of my life picking fruit for her, with much delight. Yesterday, we were picking blackberries just for the joy of it and the opportunity to be out of the city and on the farm. We were alone in the berry patch. It was a gentle and tender moment, looking closely at the fruit filled vines, marveling at the abundance of God's creation and realizing the joy of finding ripe berries among those not quite ready to be picked.

Many of us spend our lives aching for ripe berries out of season. We wish our lives were different and abundant in times of drought and waiting. Human beings often wrestle with God when the fruit they see is few and far between. I know I do. And yet, yesterday, although the picking was more painstaking, and only a little was ripe, there was still an abundance of fruit for the right now. There was plenty enough. It is often easier to see the enormous amount that we lack rather than seeing what is available to us right now. Plenty enough for today. God always provides enough for today, if we are willing to look and seek what is hiding under the leaves and hanging in the shadows.

Today, I want to have the courage to see God's abundance and provision in my life, even when there seems to be a long drought. I pray that all of us can rejoice in the fruit that is in our lives, the love, the relationships we do have. It is often easy to see what we lack, may we all have the vision to celebrate the bounty and love that surrounds each of us. And may our Bishops, gathered at Lambeth, rejoice in the abundance of faith and love, rather than sorrow in the divisions and lack of agreement.

Morning Prayer
Gracious Creator,
you bring us safely into a new day. Grant us new visions and help us to see possibilities where we saw only lack. Give us ears to hear beautiful, tender music where there was only discord. Give us new hearts to be broken open with love for our brothers and sisters, here and around the world. We ask this in Christ's name, Amen.

Evening Prayer
Loving God,
Our hearts are full to overflowing. We have seen beauty and challenge today. We have succeeded in some things and failed miserably at others. This night we lay all of our work at your feet. Transform all that we do that our small offerings might bring your loving fruitfulness to all the world. In Christ's abundant love, we pray, Amen.

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