You can just taste it. This bitter sensation on your tongue that sure wasn't the sweet taste you were expecting. Depending on the growth rate, you either tolerate it or promptly spit it out in whatever direction necessary. I am not sure about you but for me, the whole bowl is ruined at that point. That strong craving in now replaced with tense anger over a good meal gone bad. No amount of sugar can cover it up.
It just took one.
I could just taste it. That bitter sensation on my tongue was not what I was intending. I had much sweeter words planned for my day, for my children, my friend, that stranger at the store and my husband. It had rapid growth rate from the moment I spoke with her, to the first whine of the morning and beyond the missed kiss as he walked out the door. Feeling unloved, something in me decided that I wasn't going to share love either. Way back in my mind (in the good part deeply hidden beneath all the dark parts) I wanted to swallow this gross taste and forget about it but the dark me took over...and I was spitting venom. No real reason at all other than I let someone's mold grow on me.
Who knows what her day was like. Who knows what her night was like. Who knows what monsters she cowers from or demons she daily faces. Who knows why she is so negative. I don't. But when we connected that morning, even through just a phone call, that black fuzzy growth made it's way through the phone and planted itself carefully in my thoughts. It just took one and my whole 4 pound flat of strawberries was hanging in the balance.
How easy does it sound? You know, to just pluck that moldy berry out of the plastic universe it lives in a toss it down the garbage disposal. When she calls, I don't want to answer. I know all I will hear is negativity and sadness. I love her and care for her and want so badly to help get her out of her funk...but how? Pushing happiness on someone who is not in the mood always seems to turn in to hurt on both sides. I didn't create this anger inside her. I didn't put her in the situation she was in. But God did put me in her path. And her in mine. For many moments, many moons, I forget this. This whole placed-in-this-situation-for-a-reason thing. Instead, I take the common route. I complain and avoid and neglect her. It's easier that way. For me.
Knees placed firmly in the dirt, fingers grasped tightly around the trowel and thoughts still swirling in bitterness, I found myself towering over strawberry plants kissed with white blooms. I dream about the sweet fruits they are pregnant with and carefully feed them composte from the moldy and rotten foods of days past. And even here, God is so good. In that moment...He reminds me....that He is so good.
Sure my dear friend is infested with mold right now. Again, who knows where she got it. But right in front of me, the very sweet fruit I am attempting to nurture and produce, I am feeding with the death of the sweet fruit it once was. Rocking back to my heels and most likely wiping streaks of dirt on my brow, God is showing me, so clearly how good He is. This mold can be used for good, He whispers. Yes, it has the possibility to infect the whole bunch but with His help, His miraculous-life-giving help...He can grow new and beautiful things from even the grossest and most bitter of tastes.
I don't know what to do for her. I don't have the words to say or the solutions to give. But I do know that fuzzy mold that seems unremovable from her can be taken from me. That I can take that ugly stuff in my brain and heart and turn it into life-renewing composte. I can take the anger I was going to let grow, the nasty words I was planning on saying and the frown I was fully intending to wear...take it all and throw it God's direction. I can replace it with prayers for her. Prayers with her. Prayers about her and her demons and her mold. I can let God composte it all and feed her new life.
I am not anyone important. I am just one. God doesn't NEED me to rid this world of evil mold, to be the person that helps her out, or even be the person praying for her. He allows me this gift. He allows me beautiful friends and moments in the dirt and ugly fruit all so I can catch a glimpse of how wonderful it can be.
It just took one...