Aug. 19, 2013
For the Lord’s portion is his people, Jacob his allotted inheritance. In a desert land he found him, in a barren and howling waste. He shielded him and cared for him; he guarded him as the apple of his eye.
One beautiful afternoon, I picked apples. Earlier this summer, our brother-in-law Dan died. He raised apples and sold them on a roadside stand by their farm. After Dan’s death, I volunteered to help Judy with the apples. The first variety was ready to pick. For a couple hours, I picked Jersey Mac.
As a kid, our family went to an apple orchard near Chippewa Falls on a Sunday afternoon and get apples. Sometimes we picked them and sometimes we took already-picked apples. I remember the smell of the shed, little buckets near the big bushel baskets filled with apples for people to sample the varieties. It amazed me!
My experience picking at the Licht’s was a little different. These trees seemed smaller. I draped an apple bucket over my shoulder and carefully dropped apples into it. When the bucket got full, I slide the cords out of little holders holding the open bottom tight. Carefully, I dropped the apples into a crate. Two apple buckets filled a crate.
I couldn’t reach all the apples since I am not as tall as Dan or the man who regularly picks. I backed the Kubota near the trees and stood on the back to pick. It is best to have an empty apple bucket when doing this.
As I picked apples, I envisioned families who might buy these apples. I had a mental picture of customers examining the various bags and picking the best apples. I could smell apple pies, cobblers, applesauce and caramel apples they might become. I imagined families visiting the apple stand as I did as a child. Some apples have scabs on them. My sister-in-law Judy said one man tells his kids the apples with scabs are the best ones and they fight over these apples!
Picking apples reminded me of this scripture. I am the love of God’s eye, scabs and all. Just as God shielded and guarded Jacob in a foreign land, God is with us when we feel in foreign territory. We are no less the apple of God’s eye than Jacob or any other person from God’s Holy Word, the Bible.
I anticipate picking apples again when another variety is ready. As I pulled away from the orchard with filled crates in the back of the Kubota, I sampled an apple. Yum. These apples are also making good pie and applesauce.
Just as there are many different apple varieties, there are countless varieties of human beings. Just as there are scabs on apples, we have our individual scabs from when we have hurt ourselves or others have hurt us. With your grace and mercy, You consider us the apple of your eye. How grateful we are for your great love in our lives. Please wash over us today with your love, support and grace. Amen.
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