The Harvest is Plentiful

The now-fruitful pear tree

The Brick City.  Full of Concrete (brick got too expensive, they switched to concrete, but stuck with the same name).  Concrete buildings, concrete streets, concrete side walks. Broken concrete, graffitied concrete. Concrete with trash all over it. BUT behind that brick and concrete church, in a secrete little courtyard right out the door of the church kitchen there is no concrete.  There is DIRT, and growing in that dirt is a pear tree, of all things.

When we first moved there, what hung from that tree could hardly be considered a large grape, much less a pear.  They were small, hard, unedible little min-pears that wouldn’t provide a meal for a squirrel. Believe me I tried to utilize that fruit, I hated to see all those little mini-pears go to waste. But it was useless. And I gave up on that pitiful pear tree and those pitiful little pears.



When we arrived at the church building last month, and toured it to survey the “damage” of neglect and disorganization, I popped my head out that back kitchen door and gazed upward to see a tree laden with TONS of pears.  The higher up the tree, the bigger and juicier they looked.  We could finally actually EAT them!! I made a mental note “Add to work project list: send people up on ladder to harvest this abundant pear tree, that is FINALLY yielding decent fruit” (it has been 9 years now since I first gazed upon that tree).

Well, the week started rushing by (click here to read about THOSE crazy adventures), and, well, we never got around to it.  There was so much to be done, and we only had 8 people on the team, and after all, getting a ladder out is a bit inconvenient, and the ones I could reach from the ground weren’t all that impressive. So we just didn’t get to it. All that fruit.  Just sitting on that tree.  Ready to be picked and used to feed and refresh.

View of the tree from the fellowship hall window

The last day there, we were finishing up lunch and I gazed out the window again to that tree and I realized it. I was gazing upon a very visible, tangible symbol of what Newark is. It is a tree laden with fruit, fruit that has matured over the years, fruit that has grown and is a big, ripe size.

And no one is harvesting it.

Just as we got so busy that week, that we didn’t take the time to pick the fruit, we also get busy with our lives out here in the suburbs. And just as that fruit sat silently, the inner city stays silent if we can move far enough away from it.

Just as the quick and convenient pears that I could just reach up and grab with no trouble weren’t all that impressive, the quick and convenient mission trips do result in fruit, but its not all that impressive.

Just as taking the time to get the ladder out, climb up, and get in amongst those branches to reach the really bountiful pears nestled high amid the top branches is a good deal more work and takes more time, it takes more time to go out and get the “ladder” of a life aflame for Christ, going in, and living amongst the people so that you can reach the beauty of the fruit of that person’s life…that kid that should have been aborted by his 17 year old mother but is now an incredible leader, or that middle child of eight all stuffed in a small apartment who has an amazing talent in art, or that older woman who has lived in the neighborhood since before the gangs took over, and still plays Grandma to all the street kids.

There is fruit there. Abundant.

It’s just going to take a little climbing up, getting IN the tree, maybe getting scratched up a bit along the way, but its just waiting to be harvested.

Its ripe.

Its ready.

Who is ready to climb?


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. djones6750
    Aug 24, 2012 @ 02:39:32

    Hi Kimberly,
    Excellent! Excellent insight, vision, call and appeal. Excellent writing! You could write for a number of different magazines and devotional guides! That is, until you write your books (later on). It is a potential source of income, as well as for the love.


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