Raspberries and G-d

IMG_0111Last 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 tIMG_0112o 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.

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9 thoughts on “Raspberries and G-d

  1. The raspberries sound yummy. The analogy with God reminds me of a description I read once of wooden carvings in a church – that the unseen back and underneaths of the figures were carved by ancient craftsmen with as much love, reverence, care and skill as the parts that were seen. Those hard-to-reach places are just as important.

  2. Just as important, if not more I am pondering. Love the wood carving analogy too. I think I will look around next time I come upon wood carvings in a church.

  3. Raspberries are riping here in Kenya as well. We live on the edge of a forest, and recently discovered a few bushes.

    I also love how God shows up in those moments as well. Really makes life livable.

  4. Johnny, I love knowing that the growing cycle is perhaps more similar than I could have ever imagined–in Minnesota and Kenya. Wow. Love it.

  5. This analogy goes a long way. I have the same feelings about cherry tomato plants — how you look and look, and it’s a game, an endless treasure hunt, with ripe rewards for persistence and green tomatoes to keep you hopeful. You might occasionally curse the sweat of the picking, or the squirrels who beat you to the punch. But it’s always more than you can eat, in the end — more than you can hold, such a bountiful blessing — and you find yourself looking for people to bless with your extra cherry tomatoes. I want faith to be like that, all the time. Thanks for the inspiration.

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