Sunday, August 9, 2015

Under the Apple Tree

We have a wonderful old apple tree in our back yard and it does produce ….most years.  I love watching it bloom, knowing those beautiful blossoms will eventually produce fruit.  The apples are not necessarily sweet for snacking but are great for making pies, applesauce and apple cider vinegar.

Last year Charlie gathered the ones from the ground to use as deer bait.  Then…..we learned about making our very own apple cider vinegar.  Since we have been moving toward making more healthy food choices, we are also producing some of our own food.  (We share a large garden with friends who have many acres in the country.)

When we discovered how easy it is to make apple cider vinegar, my husband went back to camp and brought those very same apples back home where we processed them until they turned to vinegar. Fun!

Now that you have the background, I have a great story to share with you:

A few years ago, around the time of year the apples were nearly at picking stage, with some falling to the ground, I went for a walk through the neighborhood with a friend.  During that walk we encountered our local newspaper delivery boy; he had his “apron/newspaper holder” on.

We struck up a conversation with this friendly and talkative young man. He was excited about the house "down the street" that had all the apples on the ground and he had picked some up. (I could see the shapes of those apples under the fabric of his newspaper apron!)  Apparently his mother told him to get them so she could fix him an apple pie!  Hmmm.

He was really cute and I hated to burst his bubble but I was pretty sure all those apples were not from the ground and I was very sure about the source of those apples!  So, very gently, I confirmed with him that those apples had come from my yard.  Very gently, I told him how much my husband loved his apples and the many things he did with them.

I LOVED this young man’s reaction!  He apologized all over the place, said he would be glad to give them back, etc.  What’s not to love about such a humble heart? Such a sweet, attitude with none of the defensiveness that can so easily rear its ugly head.   At this point I was ready to tell him to go back for more! Right?  I told him to keep the apples and enjoy his pie.  Very gently I suggested that next time he just come and ask us.

How many times have we, unknowingly and without malice, taken something we should have not taken?  Or misunderstood a situation and made a decision that didn’t have good results?  Yes, we DO sin, often intentionally, but it is also possible to hurt someone, make a poor judgement, render a decision….because, for whatever reason, we do not have enough information.

That sweet newspaper boy set the bar high when it comes to a humble heart and sweet attitude.  He didn’t give me a song and dance…or defensively adopt an “entitlement” attitude.  He realized he had taken something based on a poor understanding of the situation. 
I want to be like that!  I want to be able to ask for forgiveness that quickly, or rectify a situation with grace and a humble heart.

What is my reaction when someone else “intrudes” on my territory?  Perhaps I get my feelings hurt over something I perceive to be an insult.  Maybe someone "slights" or ignores me and I take it personally without knowing that person is having a really bad day.  It is so easy to jump to conclusions and make assumptions.  Instead of expecting the “bad”, how about we cut others some “slack”?

God’s Word, the Bible, instructs us to be kind, to be grace filled, to be compassionate and to encourage and lift others up. 
 Ephesians 4: 32 says, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”  Proverbs 18: 21 reminds us that the tongue has the power of life and death.

That young man, delivering newspapers (and picking up apples!), showed me the way of Jesus that day.  Sometimes our life lessons come in the most delightful, unexpected moments.




  1. Hi Judy! I've nominated you for a Liebster Award! Here are the details: I hope you accept! I'm so looking forward to reading your responses!

  2. Daria, thank you! I am looking at all this involves. Love how blogging is such a connector of people!