Saturday, July 10, 2010

Fig Tree

“From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts out its leaves, you know that summer is near. So also, when you see all these things, you know that he is near, at the very gates." Matthew 24:32-33

When I was a child we had a fig tree in the yard that was a wonderful place for a young girl to climb. The leaves are huge so the shade is plentiful, and the tree grows close to the ground, branches reaching wide, so there is no skill needed in getting in the tree. Several small children can nest in the branches. And the figs themselves are wonders to watch. First, these tiny leaves become plate size overnight. The tiny little light bulbs grow measurably every day. And then the small fist size fruit, light green and veined, becomes riper and darker. It is the measure of a summer. It is a whole expanse of time, observing daily, while daily childhood games of pretend are played in the branches. The fig tree, as protector and provider, as playground and market.

Jesus talks of the end times and instructs his disciples to learn from the fig tree. Silent teacher, this tree, and yet rich in wisdom about the passing of time and seasons. We think we are in control of our lives, and think we have mastered everything, but the tree teaches us that conquerors find shade along with imaginative children, and we are all dependent on the provisions of a loving creator who has our time in hand.

Today, on this rainy summer Saturday, I want to offer my time to the Creator, to the God who has made me, and trust, that in God's time the fruit will appear. There is much that is tender right now, and it will be ready in God's time, not my own. I pray that I can enjoy the days and hours I have been given with all the imagination and creativity God has bestowed.

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