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Sunday, 11 September 2016


Just in from a bit of light weeding round the strawberry plants. I didn’t finish though, because when I flicked over a plastic tray which I’d positioned to help keep the ripening fruit off the ground a couple of months ago, I was horrified to see a fat slug and several well-fed snails snuggled within. (Actually that makes them sound cuter than they are: they don’t really snuggle, do they?)

So there I’d put a prop to keep the ripening fruit from their voracious jaws, and all I did was give them a leg up! (so to speak...) Straw from the neighbouring farm would have been effective and obvious and taken just a little more time to get than grabbing that plastic tray from the greenhouse. 

But I didn’t have the time, nor the inclination, so took what I thought was the quick solution. No wonder some of the beautiful berries had been nibbled and gnawed by the time I went to pick.

Life happens. We see good things, fruit, growing in our friendships, in our families, in our work situations, and it is easy to be so busy that we don’t protect those tender fruits in the proper way. We know what we should do – maybe a phone call or an email, a card or a coffee shared. Time spent praying for them. We lose perspective on where the sweet fruit is in our lives.

Joy and sorrow met in our family during this last week, and as I drove out of Glasgow on Thursday afternoon, the grey, lowering clouds broke and a rainbow blob beamed out. I didn’t need the full arch to be reminded of God’s goodness and love, even in the desert places. The sweet fruit comes from time with God, is found in each other, and is nurtured in us. No short cuts. No making do with inappropriate substitutes. Time with God is the source of the sweetness that enables us to help each other get through.

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