|Photobucket photo. You'll know why soon enough.|
J.L. left a tomato plant (and a Sunday-school book) on our porch. My beloved tended lovingly to the tomato plant...sunlight, water...until and after a wee, green tomato appeared.
Only one tiny, green tomato, but--under my beloved's watchful eye--it grew slowly to the size of my fist, and, at last, its color started to turn. Finally, my beloved announced, with excitement: "Honey, I think--tomorrow evening--I will pick the tomato and eat it."
But. The very next day, just a little before the appointed picking time, Thieving Groundhog came and made away with the one tomato. The only tomato, the very tomato my beloved had planned to eat.
(Seeing as how this is a true account, I could--at this point--tell you about my brother's attempts to shoot into the hiney butt of Thieving Groundhog. But that is not what the Lord laid on my heart on Sunday morning: my heart, because this parable is for me.)
My beloved, in his frustration, wanted nothing more to do with the tomato plant to which he had lovingly tended. Thieving Groundhog had feasted on the fruit of the tomato plant. The tomato plant had been stripped bare.
But then my beloved realized: the promise of the tomato plant rested not in the fruit lining the belly of Thieving Groundhog. The promise of the tomato plant rested in root, and vine. These things remained, and the time had not yet come for frost.
When the Enemy manages to steal and destroy the fruit of a loved one's spirit, I may--in my frustration--want to give up on my loved one. But if I stand by, wait, and continue to care...if I forgive and forget the temporary loss...I may just witness growth in my loved one, and his or her production of something finer, even, than that which was lost.