I sat down in front of the heavy-with-fruit blueberry bush, thinking I would just make myself at home in the midst of the blueberry patch. This particular bush was loaded with sweet blues and i figured I would just focus on this bush and pick it clean. Handful after handful landed in my bucket with satisfactory ‘plunks’. The beautiful blueberries were complemented by a gorgeous day, the quiet of the rural and the voices of my kids and my friend. It was a great morning. A caterpillar on the arm of my son became our mascot as we picked the berries, dreaming of muffins and crisp.
I picked the generous bush over well, determined to get every little ready-to-eat blueberry into my bucket. My friend came over and helped me relieve the bush of all the ripe berries. We determined it was time to move on to another bush as we were sure this bush was ‘done’.
We moved down the row of blueberry bushes and picked more sun-warmed blue goodness off of the branches. We swung back by the bush that we had picked clean and my friend said, “It’s amazing! I thought we had picked every berry on this particular bush, but there’s more!” We couldn’t believe how many we had missed on the bush.
It makes me think of how so many times I think I have life figured out. Think I have received all that I can from a section of scripture. Time to move on. Believe that I have grasped enough to understand what it means to be the hands and feet of Jesus. I’ve got this. I walk around with my bucket half full, thinking I have harvested all that I can and yet the truth is, I’ve left fruit on the bush. I’ve gotten bored, lazy, complacent. I sometimes go through a day, not consciously saying this, but acting as if I have gleaned all that I can and leave truth tucked in the pages of the greatest story ever told. There’s still joy to discover, still truth to be revealed, more mercy to grasp as mine. There’s more and more! And so often, I leave it there. I walk away and look for truth elsewhere, perhaps some simple substitute will do.
I always come back. Sometimes it takes longer than it should. Sometimes I make the road harder than it has to be. I turn back to the one who loves me the most and am surprised to discover that I will never run out of fresh understanding. Truth will continue to present itself to my heart when my heart is receptive. Joy will continue to fill my life. New mercies will be mine. But. I have to sit and be open to receive. I have to to be willing to learn. To be wrong. To be challenged. I will pursue every bit of goodness. I must make myself at home here, sit down, content to be led to the fruit that is always ripe for the picking.
**Pictures by Jennifer Botzet**