“An Apple is an Apple is an Apple!”
By: Donna Haug
I want you to stop to think for a moment and ponder this most urgent question: What is your favorite variety of apple? Now I know this may not seem earth-shattering to you … but just think for a moment. Do you prefer them hard and crunchy? Or do you find the softer varieties easier to eat? Do you like them tart and tangy? You know … the “pucker up your face” kind? Or do you prefer them sweet and juicy? Maybe you prefer one kind for eating, another kind for your baking and yet another for making applesauce or juice or jams and preserves. My point in all this is to say that one cannot make a blanket statement saying “An apple is an apple is an apple!” God took the time in the midst of creating all the fruit trees to create variety and the possibility of even more variety hidden in the seeds.
I want to show you today that you have more in common with this apple then you may ever have realized. First let’s take a look at the exterior – the skin. Apples come in many different shapes, sizes and colors ranging from bright greens and yellows to the reds and darkest maroons. Each variety is a product of the tree it came from. It gets its flavor, consistency and color from the tree it grew on, the ground it was planted in, how much water and sun it received. In the same way, much of what you are is passed down to you- your color, your size, your shape, your facial features – much of this is predetermined. You don’t control many of these things. These are the exterior. Now, you can polish yourself up, make sure there’s no dirt hanging on to you, protect yourself as much as possible from bruises but these are all superficial concerns.
What really matters to an apple consumer is what’s on the inside. The white part. The fruit itself. This is the part that tastes the best. It’s the most filling and useful part of the apple. It’s hidden by the skin - not visible from the outside. What happens if you drop an apple on the ground? There may be a small blemish on the outside but the real damage happens on the inside. It is sensitive and easily bruised. Your soul, your inner person, the “real you” is very much the same. This is the part of you that really matters. You may have an accident that disfigures your face or you may dye your hair or in some other way change your external appearance, but inside … you are still you! This part of you is the most productive and useful. It is the most effective in reaching out to people and filling the empty spaces. It is capable of loving, comforting, helping and so on. It is also the part of you that can be most easily hurt and bruised. A cut on your finger may not hurt nearly as much as a harsh word from a loved one. God knows this about you and does not wish for you to become tough and dried up trying to protect yourself. You can trust Him to keep you. He is the chef above all chefs. He can take a battered and bruised apple and still turn it into a beautiful creation for HIS glory.
The most precious part of you is a part that maybe you don’t even see. Sometimes only GOD can see this part. This is the seed – the possibility of who you may be and what you may become. It may not look like much but this little brown seed hides within it the incredible “possibility” of life, growth and a lasting contribution to the apple world – not in the form of another apple but in the form of a tree which can produce many, many apples. But FIRST … it must die to its life as an apple, it must be buried in the earth, it must be nurtured, watered, warmed by the sun … and from this unimpressive seed comes the beginnings of new fruitfulness! God has placed within you dreams, talents, longings, possibility of greatness in God’s sight. The possibilities are endless! But first you must die to your own dreams and desires, trusting that God has plans for you which are far greater then just protecting your little brown seed. When you hand it over to him, He takes that seed and nurtures it and cares for it … and one day a tiny sprout begins to form – signs of life at last! With continued nurturing and watering that little dream or longing can become a wonderful, fruitful blessing to many around you.
Maybe you’d like to identify with me in this prayer …
Lord, I stand before you like a little insignificant apple. I may look shiny and beautiful or I may be dirty and bruised. But I know that you care about every part of me. Help me not to hide my hurts and bruises from You or from my brothers and sisters who care for me … because unlike the lowly apple … there IS healing for me. Use the person I am to bless others. My individuality is a part of the variety that YOU had planned from the beginning. Use me for my intended purpose. And Lord, though sometimes I don’t see much worthwhile in me at all … yet YOU see infinite possibilities. I hand over all of my dreams and longings, my feelings of frustration, unworthiness and discouragement. I trust that you will take what I offer and cause a miracle to happen – a miracle of love and grace. Let life sprout up in me. Let there grow out of my life lasting fruit. Keep me Lord as the apple of your eye!! AMEN
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I loved your analogy and I loved the prayer. I got that "written for me" feeling when I read it. Thank you. I hope that many others have made this prayer their own as a result of your writing. God bless!
17 Aug 2003
Donna, it is good to be reminded that Jesus cares for all of us, no matter what we look like. Thanks for another basic truth. Ray
Firstly, great title! It really catches the eye. Secondly, well written - you've brought across a deep truth in a very simple way. Lastly - a suggestion - which do you think would read better: 'stop to think' or stop and think'? May the Lord continue to bless you and use your writing for His Glory...
Ever since the movie Shrek, I knew that Ogres were like onions, but I didn't know how that applied to me. I am so glad to know, now, that I am like an apple and not like an onion! Thank you for the great analogy. -Patrick