Today I am bringing you the continuation of a true story I call, “The Pearable-Or What a Bucket of Fruit Taught Me About Life”. If you have missed the first part of the story, part 2 may not make as much sense. You can click HERE to read part 1.
Arm in Arm we set out at dusk (Matt & I) that crisp October eve, with the exuberance of children going door to door at Halloween asking for candy. Only we weren’t the ones receiving. We were the literal bearers of fruit…a bucket of fruit, that is. It was like a grown up version of trick or treating-this random act of kindness we were about to do.
We knocked on various doors with our bucket of freshly picked pears, but most people were not home (maybe they were at the local football game we had heard that night in the distance while pear picking 😉 ). There was one house that I was sure would be occupied, and I was right. Matt and I stood on her doorstep waiting expectantly with smiles on our faces and joy in our hearts. She answered the door.
She looked at us curiously (I don’t think I have ever rang her doorbell before) as I showed her the bucket of pears. “Free organic pears!” I said. “We have just picked these from our pear tree this very evening. We have such an abundance of pears that we wanted to share. Would you like some?”
She stood there peering in the bucket at the pears with a skeptic look. “Weeellllll” …she says, (not sure that she wants to take any). I could tell that she was examining the appearance of the gift that she had just unexpectedly been presented with. She was scrutinizing those pears as a person scrutinizes produce at the supermarket.
I went on to explain that they may not look like much, but that they were good, juicy pears and 100% organic too!
“They smell good” …she replied. “Maybe I will have one or two.”
“Are you sure?” I said. “You can have a dozen or more if you like. You can have as many from the bucket as you want.”
She didn’t seem as excited as I would be at the prospect of having as much organic fruit as I wanted. It felt more like she had finally decided to give in and take a few of them off of our hands. It did not take away from our joy of giving though. When a pair of people in love are caught up in the abundance of pears from their own tree at their first home together, nothing can diminish their level of happy.
She ended up taking 4 pears.
So now- This brings me to the parable , or “pearable” (as it were) part of my story. This moment of giving…this random act of kindness presented in the form of a bucket of pears, taught me a few life lessons. This lady could have had as many free pears as she wanted. She could have chosen a dozen, 2 dozen, heck-3 dozen! Instead she barely even chose the 4 she ended up taking.
Why did she do this? Maybe part of it was because this gift was so unexpected, that she did not know how to receive it. Maybe it seemed too good to be true. People tend to get skeptic that maybe there is something WRONG with a thing if it is free, right? “Why on earth would these people be willing to give me a whole bunch of organic pears for free…there must be some catch. Maybe something is wrong with these pears.”
Or…upon looking in the bucket, she obviously noticed these pears were not like the ones you get at the stores. Maybe it was the appearance of the gift that threw her off. If the look on her face was any indication of her true thoughts, I think this is probably a fairly valid assumption. To me these pears were beautiful, but they are a bit odd from what one is used to at the store. They are much smaller than a store bought pear. They are 100% organic, and although they were free of worm holes and bruises, some of them were a bit lumpy and bumpy. The color is even a bit unusual…brighter shades of green with lots of brown russet or spotting on them (some of them were funkier than the ones below, but I did save out the best looking ones to give).
A couple of cliches come to mind here, such as “don’t judge a book (or a pear) by its cover, and big things come in small packages (or is it good things..). These pears may not look like much, but they are very sweet and juicy when ripened. Delicious!
How do we respond when we are given gifts that come unexpectedly? Do we scrutinize , analyze, or maybe even reject the gifts that come our way? Are we skeptical? Do we feel we deserve more than we are comfortable with taking? (Sometimes we are uncomfortable receiving gifts and we hold back from fully receiving what we are offered.)
These gifts can come in many forms. Maybe an outcome we didn’t expect, but that is ultimately better for us. Maybe it’s in the form of a person who reaches out to us to help, support, or give friendship, or love. Maybe it is in the form of an opportunity we are being presented with. Maybe it is in literal gift form.
Sometimes we don’t trust that the gift is in fact wonderful, and we assume there must be something wrong with it. Sometimes we either refuse the gift or hesitantly take it, because we don’t like the packaging it comes in. What if God gives us gifts that we don’t see as the pieces of gold that they are? What could we be missing out on?
And so, the moral of the story (at least from my perspective) is:
- (from the Pearable part 1)- There is so much beauty and joy in spontaneous acts of giving and sharing! Why not share our abundance with others when we feel called to? Wouldn’t the world be a better place if our hearts were full of the spirit of giving year round (like it is at Christmas time)?
- We can have an abundance of gifts in all of the various forms they come in, if we learn to be open receivers. What if we could have more than we feel comfortable taking? Do we sell ourselves short, by holding back? The key is being open. Open eyes to notice those gifts (some obvious and some in disguise) and open hearts and arms to receive them. And for Pete’s sake, I want to remember to receive with joy and excitement too (admittedly I too have accepted a “gift” of some type in a scrutinizing way)!
These are the life lessons a bucket of fruit taught me in regards to giving and receiving! :D. I hope you enjoyed this little tale and will be inspired by its meaning.
What will you do the next time a whole bucket of pears is offered to you (metaphorically of course)?
Much joy and love to you in this season of both giving and receiving,