I stand in front of the ripe raspberries with my bowl in hand. I fully intend to pick all the berries and deliver them to my children, or, better, to freeze them away for the winter. I love opening the freezer door to find those neat piles of bright red berries ready for pies and smoothies months from now.
And I love blessing my children with all the berries.
That’s me at my best: thinking ahead, blessing the children, and tending to the harvest. Right? This is what’s supposed to happen.
But for the last three days, I stand before the raspberries, starving and greedy. I’m tired. So, for once, I don’t gather them; I gobble them all up right there. Warm from the sun and fresh from the stem, the raspberries taste better than anything I can imagine. I throw the bowl onto the grass to free both hands. It’s embarrassing how fast I’m eating berries.
What’s strange is that nobody seems bothered by this or cries out about the lack of berries in the berry bowl. No child complains. There’s actually more room in the freezer without all those berries. In fact, yesterday, my daughter seems happy to see this greedy mother stuffing her face with berries. She joins me as we just stand there, popping the berries into our mouths until not one ripe one dangles. I push her hand away to get the good ones. She laughs and fights back.
Sometimes, you don’t store things away for later. Sometimes, you don’t even save a special thing for someone else. Sometimes, you take it yourself because maybe it was for you all along. Sometimes I wonder if God shakes His head at all my storing and giving away and says, “Wait! That one was for just you, for right now.”
Besides, by late afternoon, another round of berries was ready for picking. This time, I had all the energy I needed to give every last one away.