The grape vines have grapes.
The raspberry bushes have raspberries.
But, alas, the apple trees have no apples.
PB planted a few apple trees in our backyard seven years ago. They have not blossomed once, so we went back to the place we bought them to get some advice. The plant lady listened to our sad story, nodding her head as if she had heard it all before.
“Here’s what you do: get a baseball bat and give the trunk a beating. That tree is lazy and you need to wake it up.”
After an awkward pause, PB said, “So…whack the tree with a baseball bat?”
“Or a two by four,” she said.
Reluctantly, one night after dark, my man went outside, baseball bat in hand. I couldn’t watch. After the dirty deed was done, he came back in looking guilty. We didn’t talk about it.
Since that notorious night, the old apple tree has clearly perked up, growing several feet and branching out. There are no apples yet, but make no mistake: that tree knows we mean business.
I understand that tree. It has a comfortable plot of ground that feeds it nutrients daily. The roots are down just deep enough to keep it from toppling over in a wind storm. It has a pole next to it, propping it up and keeping it from having to work too hard to stand up straight. There are friendly butterflies and bees and other plants to keep it company. Life is good. But there’s no fruit.
Here is my question:
Is an apple tree truly an apple tree if it never produces apples?
Lord, wake us up from our complacency
and help us bear fruit like true disciples.
“The fruit of the Spirit is
love, joy, peace,
patience, kindness, goodness,
gentleness, faithfulness and self-control.”