Fruit


A few months ago, I had the responsibility of delivering some donations to the local City Mission, a place where the homeless and often, the broken or bruised can find refuge from a life that has been turned upside down for them.

It was late autumn, and already the promise of winter nearing was whispering through the open windows of the Missions storage area.

After setting the donations near the sorting table, I took my receipt from the worker, and headed back through the dining area towards the lobby.

I was careful not to notice the people sitting at the tables, choosing to leave before feeling the guilt of my “having“, in the midst of so much “having nothing“.

But it was not to be.

“Not yet”, I heard a woman's voice say. “Not till we say Grace“.

I was behind them when the mother bowed her head and began one of the most heart felt prayers I have ever heard, and I stopped where I was to peek over at the table. A young mother was there with her two young boys, one about 3 years old on her left, the other, about five, on her right. Both were obediently waiting, heads bowed, eyes closed.

My heart broke as I watched and listened. She was in a leg cast, and scars covered her arms, her face and bald head.

One of the younger ladies working at the mission had come to stand beside me, and she whispered, “She’s a single mom, her husband just took off one day and didn’t come back.. She has been undergoing radiation and chemotherapy the past few months, but came here when their apartment caught fire. She was burned getting her kids out."

She started to say something else but stopped, her voice strained with emotion.

We were silent….and the words this young mother said in our silence will always follow me.

“………and Thank You Lord, for the fruit on the ground, when I just can’t reach the tree."

Robert VanDerslice nufawredy@neb.rr.com

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