Free For the Picking

“buy milk and honey, without money and without price”
from The Book of Mormon, another testament of Jesus Christ

We’re between vacations. And I’m pondering grace.

The prolific rain of the last few weeks has watered our flower beds and vegetable garden. The temperatures have cooled below the normally oppressive heat of summer. We also discovered wild raspberries at the edge of the forest by our house.

These gifts graced our family for free. Our reaction to, reception of and use of the bounty, though, has required some effort on our part.

We acknowledged the water and appreciated it, even though we weren’t sure we wanted four or five inches in a couple of hours or the thunderstorms that kept us awake at night.  We turned off our sprinklers and changed our watering schedule, saving both time and money that we could devote to something else.

I’m not sure if the cool front brought the rain or the rain moderated the temperature, but whichever came first, we’ve opened the windows to an enticing breeze. We’ve turned off the air conditioner and only restarted it one day in the last three weeks.

The humidity has conditioned this Midwesterner to think that once it’s on, it has to stay on all summer. While that may be true further south, the temperate climate in north central Minnesota is teaching me to have a little faith and just enjoy the reprieve.

My husband spotted several overflowing raspberry patches near our house, and we’ve picked plenty from them. While no one is standing at the exit to weigh our handfuls and charge me, my kids and I have worked for them. One day before I picked, I forgot the mosquito repellent and came back with more than 30 bites.

I learned my lessons and prepared before I picked again. On that day, I took EH with me, and when we had picked more than a quart or two, I said, “This is actually pleasant.” She gave me the obligatory teenage response, but I knew that she was pleased with the results of our effort.

God gives us water, temperance and fruit in many forms for free. This is his grace. We just have to pick.

But picking implies an action on my part to see the fruit, want it enough to make an effort, and act to gather it. We could have left the berries to rot, but I chose to pick.

This time.

I wonder how many others times I have not even seen the fruit, didn’t want to bother or thought it would be too much work. Still, even then, when I realize my mistake, He offers, again, and says,

Come unto me all ye ends of the earth, buy milk and honey,
money and without price.
2 Nephi 26:25

What a giver. And, what a model of grace that I, too, want to extend.

What about you? What examples of grace do you see? What are you picking?

1 Comment

  1. Terresa Wellborn
    Aug 4, 2009

    I’m struggling this week. I’ve been grouchy and edgy and ungrateful. I need to uncover the silver lining of my thoughts and embrace gratitude again and feel HF’s grace in my life.

    I like your thoughts: “We just have to pick.” Lovely post.

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