Thursday, August 2, 2012
of boys and blueberries
I went out to the yard in the afternoon to check on the blueberries. There are four bushes against the back fence. Like four siblings, they are alike and yet distinct. The bush on the far west is the one I always seem to approach first. It is full and flourishing, its branches heavy with berries. Many were ripe and blue, ready to be folded into pancake batter, blended into smoothies, or simply popped into watering mouths.
At last I stepped away from the westward bush. I moved down the short row, peering and choosing. When I got to the bush on the east end, I stopped short. It is smaller than its sisters. This bush is mostly leaves - some berries here and there, but considerably fewer than the other bushes.
This may be silly, but I spoke to it. "Well there. You're not doing so well, are you...? Hmm."
But I realized that the only reason I made such a judgment was the obvious contrast of this last bush to the others. The others were heavy with berries in various states of ripeness. This one, the smaller one, had berries. It was healthy, green, producing. It was producing fruit. Still, when compared with the others before it - well, I guess you could say it wasn't growing at the same rate.
And I thought about my boys.
So similar, yet distinct. Each with his own strengths and weaknesses. Each individual, unique. Growing, changing - but not always at the same pace. It is hard not to compare at times. The inclination is natural and strong, and yet...none of my boys is the standard for any of the others.
The God who created them knows them inside and out. He knows the end from the beginning. He knows, far better than I, strengths, weaknesses, and how both virtues and vices might be used to bring Him glory. I must encourage each man-child (and my daughter too) to fulfill his own unique purpose, on his own unique timeline - according to the blueprint of the One who designed every shred of DNA and knows every hair on their heads.
I cannot ask them to fit the same mold, and I cannot hold any one up as the example to follow.
There is only One.
So I'll water, nurture...shine light in dark places. I'll point to the Way and do a little weeding here and there. But the ending? I'll leave that to the master gardener, who understands this process far better than I do.
I'm so very glad I can leave it in His hands.