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Lift up your eyes and look

A Commentary by Constance Vanides

They were splattered all over the ground. A goodly amount of plums, bruised and split, had fallen from a magnificent Santa Rosa plum tree. I had ventured out into the full heat of summer only to be met by the plum disaster between my next door neighbor and me.

"What a shame," I thought, "to lose these wonderfully tart-sweet fruit because no one is here to pick them!" The birds had already feasted on the really ripe ones. Yet, there were still many on the tree ready for the picking. Who would brave the hot summer heat to reach up high and pick the ripest, before they drop, neglected?

Harvesting fruit is hard work I was soon to discover. In place of a ladder to climb, I found a long adjustable stick with a basket attached at the top. It was meant originally to replace a burned-out ceiling light bulb. In its place, a basket cups around the desired fruit, and with a twist, is released from the branch, dropping the fruit into the cup and then into a waiting bucket.

Fallen fruit Fruit collection basket

It's all a matter of the right timing, equipment and willingness to work. "How like the harvesting of souls," I mused. No wonder Jesus called for help in this harvesting!

    "Then He said to His disciples, 'The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.'" (Matthew 9:37, 38)

We can feel sorry for the loss of perfectly good fruit, like plums, but how much more value is the loss of people's eternal lives? Yet, Jesus is depending on others to go to the lost, bringing deliverance and healing in His name. All that is needed is compassion on the lost, obedience to the Lord's call, and His gift of anointing power.

    "And when He had called His twelve disciples to Him, He gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease." (Matthew 10:1)

People with lives bruised, battered and scattered, are all around. Do you hear the call?

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