Jocie Brooke here reporting from Hollyhill, Kentucky. It’s apple picking time here in Hollyhill. Makes me wish we had an apple tree in our yard. There are some old apple trees on the farm behind us. I’ve picked up some of those windfalls now and again for Aunt Love to make applesauce, but they aren’t big pretty apples like the Hearndons have on their farm. This is the first crop from their orchard. They didn’t get a lot of apples, but the ones they did pick were extra nice. Miss Sally says the Lord must have blessed them extra to make the apples so pretty and of course rain at the right times helped too.
Miss Sally is always faithful and practical. Dad says that’s a good way to be and if all the people at Mount Pleasant were like Miss Sally, he would have the easiest job in the world as their pastor. Not that he’s complaining, he’s always quick to add.
Well, he might not complain, but I can. Church folks get stirred up over the strangest things. Like what color the Sunday school rooms should be painted or whether the grass is mowed on time. Do you think Jesus would ever worry about something like that? I asked Dad that and he reminded me that ordinary people like church members and preachers and preachers’ kids aren’t perfect or even close. Jesus was the only perfect person who ever walked around down here on earth.
Of course, Dad emphasized that preachers’ kids part. He says you can’t be worried about other people’s wrong thinking. That you need to work on your own. Then he quoted that part of the Bible where Jesus tells us not to worry about the speck in the other person’s eye but to worry about the log in our own eye. I guess he’s right. I mean Dad. I know Jesus is right. I’m trying to do better and not complain about what the church people do, but sometimes it’s hard. It’s like they think Dad is some kind of super preacher who can be everywhere at once. At every sick bed. Ready to listen to everybody’s troubles. Never supposed to get mad. Always do the kind thing, the right thing. Those last probably go for preachers’ kids too, but the church folks figured out a long time ago that I’m nowhere close to perfect.
But those apples we picked were. Apples are sort of like preachers’ kids. They get a bad rap. You know, like all the pictures showing the fruit that the serpent tempted Eve to eat was an apple. Eve wasn’t just tempted. She gave in to the temptation even though she knew she wasn’t supposed to eat the fruit from that one tree. They had plenty of other trees with fruit they could eat. That’s why we sometimes say things we know we shouldn’t have or do are “forbidden fruit.” Anyway, then she gave the fruit to Adam and he ate it too. He didn’t have to. He could have said no. But he didn’t and they got kicked out of the garden. Dad says the Bible doesn’t say the forbidden fruit was an apple. Just that it was the fruit of the tree the Lord told them not to eat. I guess it doesn’t really matter what the fruit was. The important part of the story is that Eve and then Adam gave in to temptation. Dad says everybody gets tempted by this or that we aren’t supposed to do sometimes and that the best way to fight off the temptation is to think about Jesus.
I’m glad nobody told me not to eat one of Mr. Hearndon’s apples when I went out there with Miss Sally to help them pick the apples last week. Because it was delicious.