One bad apple
These apples are just a few of the hundreds that came from our backyard tree. They look great, don't they? Of course, some of the apples are obviously bruised, others deformed, but this is the first year we've had such a bumper crop of great looking fruit. The two in front are tied together, kind of like a couple in love. (Okay, call me a romantic.) The six of them set so prettily here reminded me of a family. (You're probably thinking, "she needs to get out more".) But bear with the metaphor a moment. Some families are bigger, some smaller, and we come in different shapes and sizes. Some of us aren't so pretty on the outside. Some of us are obviously bruised. But where this lesson hit home to me was when I cut these fine specimens up to make applesauce and looked at them on the inside.
See the bruises? They weren't obvious on the outside. They were hidden wounds, and some of them were downright ugly at the core. The fruit itself was still usable, once I cut out the bad parts, but silly as it may sound it did teach me something about families and human nature in general.
Isn't it true that we're all wounded broken people? Every one of us has hidden scars that we don't show to the world. Whether we focus on the wounds or portray a false shiny skin -- deep inside, there are rotten places. Places that we need to allow Jesus to scrape clean so the "fruit" of our lives can still be useful. Because one thing is true of bruised fruit. If it goes too long untouched, it ruins the whole apple, and one bad apple can in turn wreck the whole barrel.