“Mike! Time to wake up! We are about to leave. Are you coming?” The gentle voices of my travelling companions, pierced through my blissful sleep.
“Hhhhhhmmmmmm”, I groaned silently to myself. I vaguely became aware of my surroundings. The statements slowly ignited my memory.
“Yes. Give me a few minutes. I think I need to collect my senses.”
I forced a smile on my face. Getting up was a struggle. I had been awake for most of the night. Just one of many such nights. My mind was now reeling from the effects of not getting very little sleep. My body was numb. Sleep clung to me like wet clothing. Slowly I began to feel exhilarated by the prospects of the upcoming treasure hunt.
We were going to the market to get a supply of vegetables and fruits. The early morning market shopping was freedom. It was welcomed freedom to skip selecting prepackaged and over-processed food. My mouth watered as I imagined the taste and smell of the many fruits and vegetables. I could see myself biting into some. Skipping to avoid being splashed with a some jelly water as the vendor cut my coconut. Then lifting it to my head as and drinking deeply. I felt revived as I imagined the flow of the water down my throat.
As we reached the market my sister quickly found a parking space. There was an unofficial in a housing scheme. The ‘attendant’ held out his hand as we placed the charge into his greedy outstretched palm.
Navigating the market required skill. You had to move quickly. Vendors had to think you had a set destination in mind. Failure to appear otherwise meant being pulled in every direction. Only when we saw produce that were well presented and healthy did we stop to inspect them. The food was prodded, poked, smelt and tasted, when possible. We wanted only the best(est)!
The higglers (sellers) wanted to offload over-ripe or partly bruised fruits on us but we were not having it. As much as possible, we tasted before we brought anything. When the fruit was not acceptable, we gave the seller a piercing look and witty remark that echo our how we felt.
“This is not acceptable. We will not buy this.”
Our facial expression spoke before our witty remark. We then abruptly turned and swiftly moved on.
We were determined to get value for our money.
The Father’s Choice
Isn’t it amazing how blessed we are to have a Father who does not choose his kids based on who is perfect? The fruits’ vibrant colors had to attract us. Otherwise we would not have stopped to enquire. Many times we only bought after tasting or felt convinced we were getting the best for our money.
Thankfully Jesus Christ does not make His selection as we do. I picture Him walking through the market and stopping to smell the rotten fruits. He smiles as He fills His basket or shopping bag with the blemished produce. All around mockers and scoffers are laughing as they offload the rejected fruits. He takes those worms and maggots have already devoured a part. He takes those that are putrid.
“What a sucker,” Some think.
Whisper fills the market. People are shocked. How can someone be so naive to purchase food that is normally thrown away.
He then departs for home. At home He goes into the kitchen. Lays the bag on the counter. Slowly and very gently He removes each fruit with the utmost care. He then gets to work. The rotten parts are gently peeled off. Suddenly a renewal begins. Immediately after the part is discarded, new part appears. He then takes out the pots and pans and begins putting all the ingredients together. The fire is lit. The pots are heated. All ingredients are put in the pots. The smell from the kitchen draws others from outside the house.
The door is never closed. Passers-by is drawn by the smell of the food. One by one they begin to enter the house. All have stopped to eat. Soon the house is full.
Everyone is seated and He begins to serve. The meal was prepared using a very small pot. Experts will tell you that only one person can eat from it. However, hundreds ate and all were filled. Food was also left for others.
The meal was served long ago but the smell from the kitchen continues to permeate the atmosphere. The door remained open. Others arrive. His radiant smile welcomes them. They are fed and are filled.
Those that were thirsty drank. Their thirst was quenched forever.