read to feed the soul
Written by FBJ Women for Women
by: Camille Anding
“The berries closest to the fence are the sweetest.” That was the tip that my young friend gave me before we left to pick blueberries at her grandmother’s.
The invitation to gather the little blue treasures delighted me! I wasn’t concerned about which bush was sweeter. I was just tickled to be a blueberry picker again.
Blueberries get high marks for their nutrients and toxin-punching agents. They freeze easily and roll out like edible marbles into a bowl of cereal. Blueberry desserts rank among my favorites, and their presence erases a bit of the guilt that comes with eating sweets.
That’s the reason that I’ve spent heat-smothered evenings harvesting my summer blueberries in Etta. I always layered in long sleeves, jeans, and knee-high socks and permeated the area with a strong aroma of Off. Blessings come with sacrifice and sometimes suffering. The chiggers that guarded the blueberries and Mississippi humidity taught me that.
When I skipped the steps of protective clothing and Off, I always paid for it. The chiggers were so tiny, one would think their strength would be insignificant. Don’t be fooled by their size. They’re vicious and extremely difficult to remove. It was a sobering reminder that the sins I might consider to be small and inconsequential were never small in God’s sight.
After proper preparation for the predators, the time in solitary, gathering the berries, was always a special peaceful time for me. I enjoyed time reminiscing about living on the same plot of ground that I had played on as a child. There was time to pray for those that the evening peace could more easily bring to remembrance. There was also time for reflection on my blessings and God’s goodness. The blueberry spot taught me that times of silence can be beneficial regardless of where they might be.
The blueberry picking invitation was a bonanza for our depleted supply. We also learned that south Mississippi chiggers aren’t nearly as vigorous as the northern varieties.
I did sample the berries as I picked and my young friend was right. The blueberries nearest the fence were the sweetest. It also reminded me that blueberries continue to teach me. God’s laws serve as our fence to protect us – never to deny us, and the closer we stay to obedience to His laws, the sweeter our lives.
“For You, O LORD, will bless the righteous; With favor You will surround him as with a shield.” Psalm 5:12
Dear God, You bless us with so many good things to eat. We should never take that for granted. I don’t know why you made chiggers and mosquitoes, but I’m sure that’s a question I can get answered in heaven. Amen.
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