It’s spring time here in South Africa, and all around our garden we have straggler strawberry plants doing their best to bear strawberries from between the cracks of paving stones and from underneath pots, or competing for space amongst onions, rosemary and a vibrant variety of weeds. The strawberries these plants produce tend to be small, pale and watery, quickly pecked up by birds or devoured by still-sluggish ants.
Biblically we know that through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit we are all capable of bearing fruit (Galatians 5:22-23); indeed, that we should be (John 15:8). But are we fruitful? If you’re reading this and you are, that’s great, but in writing this I’m assuming there are folks out there just as perplexed, frustrated and dispirited by their apparent lack of fruit-bearing as I am. Where’s the damn fruit? we wonder, trying to crane our heads round so we can see what’s weighing down our branches. Because make no mistake, at every point in our lives we are all bearing something. But what sometimes feels deceptively like fruit-in-process are actually burdens: burdens produced from dodgy roots and nourished by bad ways of thinking and believing; burdens that sap our strength and leech further toxicity into our soil.
Over the next few weeks we’ll be looking at some of these burdens. We’ll start with their harvest and work back towards their point of origin and the things that nurtured them, and hopefully along the way we’ll find that rooting these out will leave us plenty of room for the growth and nurture of actual fruit!