|photo taken by Jean Ann Williams|
“My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.”
—Psalm 73:26 KJV
I needed to move forward in my grieving, but at the same time, I grew fearful of the idea.
I stood next to the apple tree on the patio as the war struggled within my heart. I hated my existence that consisted of misery and longing for my son. A son I could no longer see, touch, or talk with. However, I didn’t want to forget Joshua, and to stop grieving would feel like forgetting. To move forward sounded like betrayal of my youngest child.
A breeze drifted through the yard, stirring with it a hint of fall. “God, help me,” I begged. Not one prone to idle hands, I grabbed the garden hose and watered the apple tree. When I moved to stand under the tree, I scowled. It had never given us a good crop of apples.
My heart drove me back to my dilemma, and I whispered, “Lord, I know you haven’t forsaken me, but it feels like You have. I hate my convoluted feelings. I’m so messed up.”
Right then, my shoulder thumped against a round object. I bent my neck to take in the underneath of the tree. Dozens and dozens of Red Delicious apples dangled, filling in the branches.
I gasped. “How did I miss all these apples?” Then I remembered that Joshua had watered the tree the year before until I thought he would drown it. Maybe he knew exactly what he was doing.
Father, thank You for giving us this bounty of fruit. In Jesus’s name, I’m glad to see his efforts have lived on. Amen
A Mother’s Memories
The year before he died, Joshua spent an unusual amount of time watering our apple tree.
I doubted all that watering he did that fall and winter would help the tree. For the four years we lived in our new home, the tree gave little or no fruit.
One morning, Joshua stood out by the tree and watered for a full hour. I shook my head and came outside to discuss our water bill with him. “Son, I think you’re watering way too much.”
He turned to me. “What makes you say that?”
I pointed at the ground. “You’re overwatering the tree, and the water bill is getting too high.”
“Mom,” Joshua said in his patient voice, “this tree needs water, or it won’t give fruit.”
Beneath the tree looked like a mud puddle. “All right, Son, but I don’t agree.” I walked back into the house. Sometimes there’s no changing Joshua’s mind.
Joshua ignored my comment, of course, and he kept watering that silly tree, and our water bill stayed higher than normal.
Lord, I grow more impatient with Joshua’s extreme behavior. Please give me patience with my son. In Jesus’s holy name. Amen.
~Your Mother Memories~
~Your Prayer of Praise~
~A Scripture of Encouragement~