A Fruity Reflection

bananasRachel and I split a banana every morning as part of our breakfast.  To keep fresh bananas, this means we go to the store at least twice a week.

This last bunch of bananas, which we finished this morning, was a very interesting lot.  We started with 5 or six bananas, and they were just a bit green when we bought them.

The first couple I peeled had small bad spots on them.  This was odd because neither showed before I peeled the banana.  The peel was completely yellow on each of them; not a mark or a spot that would indicate bruising.  yet, in each one, was at least one bruise.

I peeled today the final banana.  I had been saving it for last as it looked the worst.  One-third  of the lower end of the banana peel was blackened or scarred.  As I began to peel it this morning, I was prepared for the worst, and actually expected that we would be sharing far less than a full banana.

I opened the peel to reveal a flawless fruit!  Not a mark or scratch or bruise anywhere on the banana itself!

If you get the cheesy point, feel free to stop readnig and start pondering here.

I can’t remember where I was the other day, but it was in some large gathering of generally well-off Christians.  You know what I mean; the kind of gathering where someone inevitably mentions the “kind of people” we are glad we aren’t, but ought to be helping.

You know: where middle-class people refer to the down-and-out poor and homeless as those who obviously lack the quality of life we have.

The trouble I (increasingly) have with this kind of talk is that I live among people who are “them.’  More and more, whenever one of “us” refers to “them” like that, I take offense; almost as though I am one of “them.”

I, of course, am not one of “them.”  I’ve had it good my whole life.  Parents still together (49 years as of last Friday).  I graduated near the top of my class from high school, went straight to a good college (from which I graduated early and debt-free), straight to seminary, and into the steady work of being a  pastor.

If my life were a banana, it would be a solid, perfectly yellow banana. Until peeled.

Peeled, my life would show years of self-doubt and low self esteem.  It would show a 15 year marriage ended in divorce.  It would show failed times in ministry and damaged relationships.

I work mostly with adolescents, many of whose lives show the hurt they’ve been dealt.  I have spent many years pastoring churches filled mostly by people whose lives didn’t.

You just can’t tell by looking at someone what kind of life he or she has had; what kind of hurt she or he has endured; what kind of load he or she might be carrying.

Anymore than you can tell a banana by looking at its peel.

3 thoughts on “A Fruity Reflection

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