Meet the Author's Author

Meet the Author's Author
Live for Jesus! That's what matters! That you see the light in me and come along! :)

Sunday, September 01, 2013

The Boys and the Berries

Blackberry picking is one of my favourite times of year.

A nature reserve, with tangles of thorns and bushes, longish grass, steep paths and a river, is where we have gone from times immemorial to pick the fruit - originally for jam, then for my brother's Ketogenic milkshakes, and also (especially recently) for apple-and-blackberry crumble, or pie, or...

Clear blue sky and bright green grass meet, the horizon line fringed with the dark shades of hedges and trees.
The hot sun beats down on us, clad in long sleeves and long trousers, protecting the bare skin from the thorns as we reach deep, deep into the heart of the tangles, trying to pull the nettled leaves with their surprising thorns apart to look for fruit underneath.

It's quiet, apart from the birds singing, the occasional distant bark of a dog, or the rustle of the two bags, which doubled and tied into one because of the thick dark juice that ends up dripping from them as the pressure of the mass of berries crushes the smaller and weaker ones, and those at the bottom.

Time in nature, silence, usually induces three things for me...clearer thinking (the only other time THAT happens is in the shower!), praying and thinking.

The praying lead to my other blog post, which I'll release sometime this week - Current of the Current.

The thinking lead to this one. :D

Coming from a family of four who have been berry picking for X amount of years, I've noticed two things (in their basic, simplistic form):
1) There are two types of berries (ignore the fact that there's green, red and then black :P)
2) There are two types of pickers.

Berry patches vary from year to year, depending on where the most moisture and the most sunshine has fallen. These factors can make a rather large difference where the best berry patch is from one year to the next.

These berries are usually found at the beginning, when searching for a good patch.

They're good for fillers - taking up space in your empty bag and making it look like you're actually doing something, adding a bit of weight.
However, they're insubstantial. They are comprised of two to several large loose drupelets, break easily and are fairly useless. They get crushed, crumble apart and leak juice easily.

The best berries are these:

They are firm, not hard but solid, and can be pinched off the branch without squirting all over the place. They are great for fruit, for puddings and more as they contain the juice and ofttimes hold the sweeter flavour.

Some berry pickers are anxious to make sure they get berries, and in the fear that there may not be any more berries - that this is the only good spot, poor as they may be - and so they fill up their bags with the first kind of berries, ones that crumble in your hand and leave juice marks everywhere, ones with two or three drupelets that would scarcely make a decent milkshake, much less a pie or crumble.

Other berry pickers work their way around the areas, searching for the one good berry patch. Often the berries are deep in the thicket, under the stingers and the nettled leaves, but they're there - firm, juicy, ripe and big.
The scratches and cuts, the stings and tearings in your flesh are so painful, but you keep going - just to get those good berries. and berries? Just to reassure you, this isn't an equality post about how one gender picks better berries than another. In case you were wondering. :P

This is actually a post for my older single lady friends. :)

You've probably heard before about girls being compared to apples - those who wait for a guy to climb all the way to the top of the tree instead of just taking the apples that hang lower down.
Well, in this one you get some revenge...because I'm going to compare guys to blackberries. :P

Two/three years ago, a distant friend I'd met on Twitter got married. Warning bells sounded, but I figured it was way off to worry about yet.
Since then, friends of friends got married. Then friends got married or engaged. Then close friends started getting into relationships, engaged or married. Now two of my daughters are courting/dating/engaged.


I've been attacked for my rather antagonistic stance on this, but unless you're a close friend and understand me, I'm not going to try and defend that. :P

However, off topic.

Some of you young ladies are out there working patiently, praying and wondering, "...why...not me? Lord, am I going to be single? Why them and not me?"
You're getting older. The years mount. You see the stats saying that young women over the age of 20 something are less than likely to get into a relationship, to get married. And you steadily fight the occasional rise of fear, reminding yourself that God's got it all in control.

Some of these young couples are ready for this stage of their life, it's true. And God is showing them a good berry in the bush while you're still waiting and working to find the right patch.

But...many of the girls today...are afraid. Very afraid that God's not going to do it in time. And when a young man shows up and he seems to match up to a lot of their (good) standards (cause there are bad standards, but I'm not going into that here), it doesn't really matter if he doesn't match all of them.
I mean, after all, he's kind. Respectful. Treats you like you're special. It doesn't matter if he's weak in seeking God through prayer and His Word, and isn't good at leading a family or encouraging you to the Lord.
After all, he goes to church and he's a Christian and he does read the Bible when he's got time.

So they pick a berry with a few drupelets. And wonder why it squishes, or why it's never very filling or can't be used as it's meant to.

And're looking at them, and you know it's not...the right...kind of guy...but's a guy, and they're in a relationship, and they're happy...(sorta).

And you wait and you're tired and you fight down the fear again. And then, one day, God shows you the berry patch. The one you didn't think was there...when you thought all the berries had failed this year.
And there's the perfect berry - made just the way it needed to be. Maybe it's not where you expected it to be. Maybe it's not what you wanted it to be. Maybe it's not what you thought it would be. But it's exactly what it needed to be, the way God planned it.

So don't give up. Don't drop a few of your standards in fear of not landing a guy. The more standards you drop, the fewer drupelets your berry will have.

It may hurt. The thorns may tear your flesh when you reach for the berry. It may not be easy to pull off the branch.
Really good things never come easily. Being born again is impossibly hard. Godliness is agonising.
But it's worth it. God is worth it. Christ is worth it.
And marriage is also worth it.

Keep your standards up. Keep waiting for the right bush. Keep praying and keep checking the Son. He'll show you the berry bush in His own good time. :)
And even if He never does, you know what? No bush is the best thing possible for you.

Oh, it may not seem like it. Probably, it WON'T seem like it. But being in the centre of His Will is the best place for you to be.
Not two steps to the right or one to the left with a crumbly berry. But right in the centre...and following His path to the best bush.

No two bushes are the same. No two paths are the same. Keep going. His path for you will be unbelievable. Whatever it is.

In Christ,
Mademoiselle Siân