The Kingdom of God is like Blackberries

Warm Blackberry Cobbler with Vanilla Ice Cream

Warm Blackberry Galette with Vanilla Ice Cream

Blackberry Jam on a Warm Biscuit

Is it possible to have too many blackberries?

The only mornings I have not picked blackberries in the last 6 weeks were the mornings I was on vacation with my family. There are mornings I’d prefer to roll over, close my eyes and not pick. However, I am unwilling to risk losing anymore than possible to rot, birds, and bugs. In hot weather, a semi-ripe berry can go to overripe berry in less than 48 hours. Even with a protective net, some are given up to clever birds and a few bugs. In the coolness of the shaded morning, I pick.

Another gallon bag of berries was placed in the freezer and to my surprise, there were now 5 gallons: the miracle of abundance playing out right before my eyes. I had no idea there were this many berries. Steadily, two to four cups a day adds up. Abundance, God’s abundance isn’t the jackpot, pot of gold at the end of the rainbow kind of abundance. God’s abundance is a steady, non-flashy work that, when we stay on course, somehow surprise by its abundant results.

God provides the land and the land provides the food. Barbara Kingsolver writes, “The land provides our genesis.” Our genesis, our beginning is in the land. Protecting that land should be our number one priority, if we want it to provide us with what we need to sustain our living.

The more I work with the land, the more protective of it I become, so it pains me that many people seem to be careless about the care of the land. Our industrial way of farming puts the people who make the decisions far away from actual dirt. Most of the people in our nation are city dwellers and want cheap food at the grocery store, regardless of the cost to the land. We aren’t living within our means when it comes to the use of the land, which provides us with our beginning and sustains us through life. We take more out of the land than we put into it.

I’m grateful for the harvest of blackberries, but it didn’t come of its own accord. We planted, pruned, watered and yes, fed these plants with the refuse of our kitchen (compost) and sea kelp fertilizer. We take out of the land bountiful harvests every year. It is only right that we give back; it’s an investment in future harvests. And we give back what builds up the land. It’s not flashy. It’s a bit of grunt work. I think it’s a little like the Kingdom of God.


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