Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: TRIAL (05/10/18)
- TITLE: More Oranges
By Stephen Kimball
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“I’m getting ready to take care of the orange tree…. It’s just the right time. Would you like to help?”
“Can I? Can we go see Red too?”
“Grab those pruning shears there and let’s go. We’ll visit Red along on the way. And when we’re finished, we get to enjoy the harvest! How does that sound?”
“Yea!!! - What’s a harvest, Grampa?”
“Ha, ha, ha, ha”….Grandpa, chuckled out loud.
Reaching up on the wall for the pruner, “It means you get to eat the biggest orange you can find.”
With all the tools they needed in hand, they set out on their backyard adventure.
After just a few steps, Timmy stopped and looked in wonder at the ant mound that was alive with activity this morning. “You have a big ant pile here, Grampa.”
Looking back over his shoulder, “We’ll take care of those next - one job at a time, my boy…. Better stay away from those things, they bite.”
“Grampa, Grampa!!! Can I have one of these flowers?” Skipping over
to Grammy’s nearby rose bushes that were in full bloom.
“Now…what are you planning to do with one of these flowers? “
“I’ll show you.”
Hmmm... “Okay”, Grandpa said as he set the ladder and the pruner to the side. “But just one, otherwise we might get ourselves in trouble with Grammy.”
Timmy carefully watched as Grandpa demonstrated, then lifting the shears, he calmly clipped the stem, allowing the rose fall to the ground.
Grandpa knelt down, picked up the rose and held it up for both of them to inspect, “Don’t worry, it’s fine...Take a look at how beautiful that flower is - Isn’t it amazing!”
Timmy traded the shears for the rose and held it up to his face. He closed his eyes and took a long sniff - his grin widening as he breathed in the sweet aroma.
Grandpa smiled, recognizing the routine he had often witnessed his wife carry out.
Timmy let out a big sigh and promptly took off running to the spot where they had buried Red.
Gently patting the dirt, “I wish we could play together today - this is for you.” He laid the gift down on the ground before turning and skipping again back to Grandpa, who was waiting to meet him with a warm embrace.
“Are you ready to try your hand at those oranges?”
“Yes I am...I know how to do this.”
They walked beside one another over to the tree and looked up.
“That’s a lot of oranges.” Timmy said.
“You pick the ones you want, then I’ll get the rest, okay?”
Pointing up, “I can’t reach it Grampa.”
“If you climb the ladder you can, I think.”
Timmy cautiously stepped up the ladder and used his new found skill on the largest orange he could find…”This one is for Grammy” he said with satisfaction, as the fruit fell to the ground. “And this one is for me.”
“You want to know how to grow lots and lots of oranges Tim? The secret is in trimming these branches back – It’s called pruning. Pruning spurs new growth and the tree will produce even more oranges next season.”
“You know, the Bible says that God “prunes” his children in the same way, so just like the tree, we will produce more fruit.”
Confused, Timmy began to climb down from his perch.
“Sometimes we go through really tough things, like for example, losing a good friend like Red. God allows these types of things in our lives to help us grow. It may be difficult, at first, but in the end it makes us stronger. One day, you may even be able to help someone else when they lose a good friend – that’s one way God’s children ‘produce fruit’”.
Timmy looked up and returned his grandpa’s soft smile.
“I am strong, Grampa!” Timmy exclaimed, as he hoisted the two over sized oranges over his head. “I’m going to go show Grammy how strong God has made me, okay?”
“Yea, go on”…chuckling again, out loud.
As Timmy turned to make his way inside, Grandpa turned his attention to the tree. “Thank you God for putting that boy in my life – what a joy he is to me.”
John 15:2 “…every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.”
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