I am an indoor kinda' gal. And the warmer it gets, the more I just want to sit in an air conditioned space and work on a bit of knitting or writing or reading.
There is one way to get me outside in the sun on a summer day and that's to promise me that we're going to pick blueberries.
Since the first time my grandmother took me to the farm that had a huge blueberry patch, I've been hooked. I love walking through the bushes. I love seeing the fruit hanging there, waiting for me to take it. I love feeling my pail get heavier and my stomach get fuller (I'm pretty sure the places where I pick blueberries should have a before and after weigh-in, because I do love to snack while I'm harvesting!).
One thing I notice when I'm in the blueberry patch is that on the same bush and even in the same cluster of berries, the fruit ripens at different rates. If I'm not careful, I can pull off a handful of berries that are fully ripened, some that are more pink than blue and some that are just plain green. When I'm not gentle, I can yank a piece of fruit from the bush that hasn't had a chance to become edible. It's still a blueberry, but it will have no opportunity to provide nourishment.
I think this happens in the Church sometimes. Our congregations contain folks who are at all stages in their spiritual lives and experiences and we sometimes treat them as if they are all the same, simply because they are clustered together. The single (and the single-on-Sunday). The divorced. The childless (by choice or by circumstance). The depressed. The jobless. The totally normal, married with two kids, living in the suburbs. We're all in there together - some ripe and ready to go out and do work, some close but maybe a bit sour, and some that need a lot more time to reach their full potential.
As we interact with each other, let's be gentle.
This is a part of the One Word at a Time Blog Carnival hosted by Peter Pollock. Today's word was Farm. You can read more submissions or post your own here.