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Monday, 8 September 2014

Gems in the Hedges

My fingers are stained purplish red. Yes, it’s that time of year, and I’m just in from an hour dodging the thorns of gorse bushes and wild roses to bring in some big and beautiful brambles – local word for blackberries.

When we moved here thirty years ago, the narrow country lanes were littered with cars pulled in to the verge as folk got out and picked the crop of wild brambles. Now, the occasional cyclist stops and picks a few, but other than that I seem to be one of the last.

But is there anything more bursting with flavour and colour than a bramble crumble? Hard to beat.
Perhaps people are just too busy to linger along the roadsides or spend a few minutes in the kitchen. Perhaps they don’t know what they’re missing. Or perhaps they’ve never noticed these little gems twinkling in the autumn sun.

Sometimes they are obscured and need a keen eye to find. Sometimes they are just hanging out there invitingly. They take a bit of time to pick and a bit of effort to prepare, but not much, for the returns.

Many of God’s blessings are like the brambles. They are there, twinkling in the undergrowth of our lives, and we may not even notice them, recognise them for what they are, or thank the giver for his generous gifts. If we don’t do anything about them, they may wither away and never be gathered in to feed others.

May you find many gems in the hedges of your spiritual hearts, in the web of your daily life, lavished on you by the God who loves you so much. Savour them for what they are: unmerited gifts from an Almighty Father.

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