I visit a local Farmer's Market on Thursday mornings. For me, there's nothing that can compare to freshly harvested fruits and vegetables. And since I am prevented from growing my own by the local deer population, this Market is a favorite weekly destination.
One farmer brings tomatoes and lettuce grown hydroponically. Which explains why he has this produce and others who grow in soil do not.
Upon the table is a sign, "Ask to see Uglies". Under the table is a box of "Uglies" tomatoes. These fruits are shaped oddly, or have blemishes of one kind or another. But they are still perfect for kitchen use.
Last week I walked the market, and I spied lugs of early crop Michigan strawberries. Red, so ripe, fragrant, absolutely luscious-looking. Oh, how my eye feasted on those pretty things! I purchased 2 quarts, measured out by the farmer scooping his hands into the lug and filling quart containers.
At home, I carefully washed a large handful of berries, my mouth salivating in anticipation of that first bite of cut-up strawberry mixed in with some fresh vanilla yogurt.
But what's this? "Uglies" in my strawberries? I didn't pay any less for these fruits which didn't measure up to a certain standard of perfection. Hey, did I get cheated?
But, oh no! Carefully washed, cut, and tossed with a spoonful of sugar, the berries glistened and smelled pungent as only fresh strawberries can. Mixed with the yogurt, enjoyed to the last spoon scraping of the bowl. That which was declared to be "Ugly" tasted just as sweet as those looking "Perfect".
Can these strawberries be made a metaphor for the sinner saved when grabbed by the heart, where it doesn't show? Made clean and new, fragrant, sweet to the taste, to be enjoyed without paying attention to what shows on the outside skin? Made perfect for a God so holy that only perfection will be allowed. Perfection found only where the eye cannot see.
And "fruit of the spirit" is holy indeed, and perfect for sharing with the world. To be enjoyed to the last spoon-scraping of the bowl.
I am blessed by the Farmer's Market.