Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Feasting from the Father's Hand

Berry vines grow along the fence on the right.

God is good
God is great
Let us thank Him for our food.
By His hands we must be fed,
Thank You, God, for our daily bread.

                Above is the first prayer my Mother taught me.  There are various versions, but this is how I remember saying it. 
        Yesterday I was literally eating food that came to me freely, directly from God’s goodness.  Behind the flats that we live in is a common area, similar to a square or quadrangular space that is surrounded by a building or buildings, as on a college campus.  Parts of it have been left to overgrow, as you can see in the photo above.  Around the edge of this play area are a few wild roses and what are called bramble bushes. 

        In the Midwest, where I grew up, they are called blackberry bushes.  I noticed them last autumn whilst out with Maisy.  I was pretty sure they were blackberry vines because of the shape of the leaves and sharp thorns.   

        So I waited over the coming months—March when the leaves began to sprout, the vines with thorns stretching out along the ground, around wire fences and along the high wood fencing.  April and May came and pretty white blossoms formed, then burst forth their soft petals and intoxicating fragrance.  More weeks of waiting, seeing tiny green balls form at first, then week-on-week they enlarged.  In July those green bauble-like fruit began turning red.  Then 10 days ago,  I noticed they were purple.  I gave one berry a tug—but it resisted my pull.  Not quite ready.  The anticipation grew.  

            So Tuesday afternoon (18th August), with Maisy on her lead, I walked out the back door, heading for that fence row and the fruit for which I was longing.  At first Maisy sniffed around, not taking notice of me.
I reached up, closed my finger-tips gently around a black jewel and pulled.  That berry came away easily.  Straight into my mouth it went…and what bliss; only the sweetness of fully matured fruit directly from the vine delighted my taste buds.  

There I stood, feasting from the Father’s hand.  God was being Daddy, delighting in providing a simple pleasure for His beloved Child.  I had not planted those vines.  Nor had I worked to nurture them, nor pulled away weeds.  No fertiliser had been fed to those plants by my hands.  Only rain had provided water needed for a harvest.  Those berries were totally voluntary by nature’s pattern and rhythm.  

Eating the fruit was not the only joy.  I looked down at Maisy, who had come to stand next to me.  Right next to the ground were lower vines.  Since I was picking and eating, Maisy decided that they must be for her as well.  She nosed, sniffed and then tried pulling the fruit away.  Dogs have no idea as to what is ripe and what is not, so she pulled random berries.  She’d bite, shake her head, and drop it.  I couldn’t help but laugh.  Then she’d try another one.  She couldn’t make up her mind—I was eating them, so she wanted to eat it too.  I even gave her a ripe one.  She closed her mouth, dropped the berry and flicked her tongue out.  Maisy wasn’t sure what to do.  

I wanted to pick more and put them in the freezer.  Whether I get do depends upon whether it is raining tomorrow, and how long our family is here.  “Lacey” and family are coming.  

At any rate, I have been fed and I have given thanks to our good and great God.

Serving Jesus, Author of our faith,

“Lady Helene”