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An Unexpected Blessing, Nearly Destroyed

Written By: Jodi on June 20, 2005 One Comment

I think I just got another ‘life lesson’. I was out earlier today spraying Roundup on anything that didn’t look ‘grassy’ to me. As I was in the backyard obliterating noxious weeds, I spied the straggly bush in the corner of the fence. AHA!, I thought. I can spray that thing and get rid of it! I’d been complaining to my husband earlier in the year about the bush, which suddenly appeared this Spring. It’s really coming from our neighbor’s yard, but has sent shoots out and started growing in our yard, too. When small, the stems were covered in tiny thorns and I was concerned that one of my kids might mess with it and get hurt. Of course with one thing and another, I never got around to donning thick gloves and digging it up. So today I headed over to the corner to attack it with Roundup and as I was aiming the sprayer at it I happened to glance over to the neighbor’s side of the fence. There was something hanging off the bush. Something red. Something bumpy. Something that looked suspiciously like raspberries. They were raspberries!!!

I swallowed a gasp and lowered my poison pistol. I couldn’t believe it! You’ll understand why I was so stunned when I explain that I’ve been wanting to plant a raspberry bush for ages. I have this emotional attachment to raspberries. My grandparent’s neighbor had a huge black raspberry patch and one of my fondest childhood memories is of going over to pick a huge bowl full and bringing it back into the house to be washed. Sometimes my grandpa would pick some for me before I got there and have them waiting for me. I’d then sit at the kitchen table with my grandpa across from me. I’d ask him if it was ok to use his sugar for the raspberries, and he’d tell me to go ahead, it flavored his coffee! He’d scoot the orange sugar bowl over to me and I’d take off the lid. One by one, I’d pick up the dark berries, give them a dip in the sugar bowl to fill the centers with sugar and pop them in my mouth. Yummmm. I’d eat until I was nearly sick (and probably on quite a sugar buzz, too!). Grandpa would sit there, playing solitaire and watching me, just enjoying the sight of me relishing the raspberries and spending time together.

So for a long time, I’ve wanted a raspberry bush. I’d prefer black raspberry, of course, but red would be good, too. The problem is, I could never decide where to put it. Where would it be safe from birds and rabbits? Would I need more than one to pollenate? Where was there a spot sunny enough where the kids wouldn’t get into it? Did I need a fence to put around it? All these decisions to be made over the very important bush…and being the indecisive person I am, especially with ‘important’ things, I procrastinated.

And now, springing forth from the Earth in my very own yard is a red raspberry bush. I’m a person who sees ‘meanings’ to things where other people might not see them. I’m sure there’s a lesson here for me, but I haven’t quite decided what that might be. Surely it was not to reward my procrastination. Maybe it’s a lesson about my need to ‘take control’ of everything and my related inability to make a decision if there’s a chance it won’t be the right one (and missing out on things because of it). Perhaps it’s also about my tendency to jump to conclusions and assume the worst. Or maybe it’s about accepting the blessings that come my way, even if they don’t come in the exact form I would have chosen.

I didn’t have to plant this raspberry bush or decide where to put it, nature took care of that. It’s in a corner of the yard where the kids don’t usually play and I was thinking of landscaping the lawn away from anyway, out in the open where it gets lots of sun and the neighbor’s bush is right there for any pollenation that needs to be done. Wow. And I almost killed it! This bush that was a nuisance because it had thorns on it and was encroaching on our yard, when I left it alone to do it’s thing, turned into what I had been wanting for so long! I mean, really, wow.

I don’t know if there really is some hidden meaning I’m supposed to take away from this experience or not. Maybe it’s another way that God is showing me that I need to keep my eyes trained on the blessings of my life, rather than focusing on what’s going wrong or what needs to be ‘fixed’. Or maybe it was just sent to me as a gentle reminder of carefree childhood moments spent with an old man who liked raspberry sugar in his coffee and adored his granddaughter. Whatever it is, I’m receiving it as a gift.

And maybe someday soon I’ll have the courage to plant that black raspberry bush right where it appears it’s supposed to go, next to this gift of the red one.

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One Response to “An Unexpected Blessing, Nearly Destroyed”

  1. Donna says on: 30 July 2008 at 5:25 pm

    This blog article is awesome.

    I love natural examples of God’s love and grace.

    He gives us gifts even if we don’t deserve them.

    God is a very good God.

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