Friday, September 3, 2010

Consider the Peach and the Coconut

As they might illustrate a person, which do you suppose God wants us to be? The quick, seemingly obvious, answer would be the peach. Someone cannier, suspecting a trap (you know who you are), would say the coconut. But why? Why either one?

The peach is beautiful to look at: golden and...well, peachy. Its flesh is luscious, its nectar sweet. The coconut is coarse and shaggy. Its rocky exterior makes the flesh a pain in the neck to get at, hardly worth the effort sometimes. So the peach seems like a good choice for our metaphorical person favored by God.

But that's seeing the way humans see, superficial and carnal. The peach's flesh is soft, easily bruised, and decays quickly. It's heart is a stone that no one wants. The coconut's exterior is hard as rock but its heart is large, hollow and filled with sweet nectar. I'd say Jesus was a coconut. He took all kinds of abuse and still had room in his heart for sinners, lepers, other human wrecks, and even his abusers. And for me.

See? One of the losses of the Fall was our God-like vision. The veil of flesh falls over the luminous beings that we really are and we know to our shame that we are naked. We even become accustomed to think of this aberrant vision as the only way to see. We sometimes need to be reminded that "man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart" (1 Samuel 16:7).

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