Lessons from Fruit
Fruit spoke to me about God the other day. Or maybe it’s the other way around. Either way, you know you serve a literary God when He hands you a metaphor over something mundane like rotting fruit.
“I don’t want to,” I tell my mom.
She gives me a sigh and a look and I’m pivoting back to the kitchen.
The cherries sit smushed together on the counter, the plastic bag now scarlet stained by the juice. What was meant as a summer treat, four days later serves as a chore as I carefully pick through each one checking for mold. After only seconds, I feel the sudden urge to toss the entire batch away, not seeing any point in saving the few remaining unharmed at the bottom. Fortunately, my mom raised me to know that’s wasteful.
So I take the time. I hold each one and inspect it carefully. Some make it, others don’t. And in the annoyance of it all, there comes a moment and thought about God, more specifically the story of Noah.
Trust me when I say my fruit doesn’t always come with a side of theology, but for whatever reason it did that day. While tempted to toss the rest away, I stopped.
“What if God did that to us? What if God had done that to Noah?” I thought.
Genesis 6:5-6 says, “The Lord saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become…The Lord was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and His heart was filled with pain.”
I don’t know how many people were on the earth at this point in the story, but it at least was hundreds of people. All people God had created with purpose, thought, and love. Now He was left watching His creation consume themselves with evil. Here in the story is where God could have thrown away all the cherries, because who was left? Only but one man and his family.
I’m not saying God should have thrown Noah in the flood with the rest of them, but I am saying He easily could have. Instead of tossing Noah out with the rest, God saw it fit to not only right the injustice in the world, but to bring about a beautiful story of redemption through this one man.
Biblical justice is so unlike our human idea of justice, isn’t it? The human philosophy is “eye for an eye.” We long for paybacks and revenge, leaving nothing but scorched earth in our wake. In my life, I demand fairness for myself and to receive justice when situations turn against me. I deem myself judge, my rulings sharply swayed by my opinions and convictions.
When we are left writing the story, justice is done once the bad guy has been defeated and good triumphs once again. Our God, however, doesn’t allow it to end there. The God of true justice and peace is bringing freedom and redemption to every story.