Last week the raspberries started to pop in my backyard. It might just be my most favorite thing about our home—the abundant crop of raspberries that comes each and every late June, lasting typically only a few glorious weeks. The first ones burst into their deep red color last Saturday—I remember because my sister was still in town. I think she gets as crazy for them as I do.
So this past Thursday I was in the backyard—picking away—when suddenly it felt like I got an inside glimpse about G-d that I hadn’t had before.
When first coming upon the bushes, the red ripe berries, sort of smattered here and there, might catch your eye. I mean standing back you figure maybe you’ve got a half-pint or so, a big berry score for sure. But then you get in there. I mean really ‘down and in’ there (to borrow a phrase from Doug Pagitt), and suddenly the bush seems unending in its fruit. The closer look reveals what you can hardly imagine—easily a quart, maybe even two.
So you pick, and you pick, (and snitch a berry or three along the way) and you are sure that you have gotten all the berries there are and then a leaf moves, revealing another untouched bunch, just waiting, ripe. An hour passes and feels like 10 minutes, but the gnat bites tell you differently, the sun is setting and you have to walk away. You do, and head inside for a bowl of berries and fresh cream.
These are the best berries, ever. No market—farmers or grocery—can touch these babies. And I have done mostly nothing to make them so good. So as I was endlessly searching, seemingly turning every leaf over and getting scratched and bitten, that this was a small glimpse of who and how G-d is.
Our G-d is a down and in G-d, digging in and actually creating in dark unseen, unpicked places. Our G-d is One who gets behind the leaves, into the cob-webby, thorny, hard to reach spaces, into the spots we almost never look. This G-d produces amazing, mind blowing fruit; real and spiritual. Our G-d has given us goodness, beyond all imagination and measure–we have done virtually nothing to deserve this.
I love my raspberry bushes, and the G-d who continues to show up, in all the right, ripe, dark and thorny places in my life.