"What kind of fruit would you be?" Is always a good ice-breaker. I always pick the mango. I think my choice is not only because of the happy childhood memories it evokes, but also the fruit itself.
In the summertime, on rare occasions (because of their expense) my mother would treat herself (and us children) to a mango experience. And experience it was - because of the mess! She would carefully cut the slices (which we would eat with a fork) but when it came to the fruit left on the almond shaped seed at the heart of the fruit - it was a stand over the sink, try to hold on to the slippery golden delight, and use your teeth to scrape every last bit of the honey-peach flesh off.
It was sticky, the juice ran down our arms and the strings of the last vestiges of the delicacy stuck in our teeth, remnants and a reminder of the exotic delight we had just partaken in.
I am a mango.
Yes- fleshy, delicious with a golden heart when ripe in service of the King. If sliced correctly (a trick I didn't learn until I was an adult) most of the inside can be enjoyed without much mess. I especially relate to the weirdness of the seed's shape - I am a weirdo at heart. But if you want to have the whole experience (know the real me) it will be messy.
Much of the world I see is just that - a mess. The results of a fallen mankind reeking havoc on the innocent.
I see the "mess" poverty creates, and the ignorance ignoring it makes.
I see the "mess" of lives interrupted by broken bodies and broken spirits.
I see the "mess" of the third and fourth worlds with little social infrastructure to take care of things like trash.
I see the "mess" of the first world with few social morals and no boundaries to spare children the debasing imagery of internet pornography.
I see the mess
But I taste the mango.
I taste the redemptive power of a Creator who promised on a hillside the poor will inherit the earth.
I taste the restoration knowing in His time, we will all have new bodies fit for eternity.
I taste the removal of all the old things as He says in Revelation 21 - "behold I am making all things new - the former things are washed away."
I taste and rejoice to serve a righteous King who is on His way to judge the quick and the dead.
I taste and see -
The Lord is good!
I have eaten more mangos in the last six days than I eat in an entire Texas summer.
As I was praying through my farewell this morning, getting my thoughts before the throne on another series of "goodbyes" - I cried.
The mess and the meaning came flooding into my heart. Poverty, pain, desperation, filth, farm animals, bare feet, broken hearts, and leprosy.
In this life, in this place there are no words to explain the meaning of the mess.
As I was trying to wrap my heart and mind around it all, the Lord reminded me of the season. Mangoes!
Mangoes, mangoes, mangoes!
Everywhere I look I see baskets and baskets of mangoes. I smiled, it was if the Lord was revealing the great harvest of a girl who when asked what fruit she would be - always answers, "a mango."
"And some seed yielded a harvest a Hundred fold. "
I am on my way home smiling