Just Plain Foolish

Just a chance for an old-fashioned, simple storyteller to say what needs to be said.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

By their fruits shall you know them

Whether or not this phrase was ever spoken by a radical rabbi from Nazareth during the Roman occupation of his land, it's good advice. You don't go to one kind of tree expecting another kind of fruit. Pokeberries and blackcurrants may superficially resemble each other, but one makes a tasty jam and the other is a poisonous dyestuff. I don't go to pokeweed expecting to harvest blackcurrents, and somehow, with all the blackcurrant stuff I've eaten, I've escaped pokeweed poisoning.

So many people today claim to speak for God, and they claim to do so under so many different names. Jesus, Allah, HaShem, etc. Each claims that they are the only legitimate voice, and yet... what has been the fruit? Violence, hatred, murder, rape, war, rockets, spying, lack of liberty, hunger, privation, fear. Sorrow, oh sorrow. Concentration of wealth in the hands of a very few while the vast majority taste lack. Grief, anger, violence...

This doesn't taste like blackcurrant wine to me.

When a person claims to speak for God while calling for murder and violence, you know you've got pokeberry sitting there, in all its shiny purple glory. When a person claims to speak for God while calling up hatred, reflect on the beauty of poisonous fruit.

Blackcurrant isn't always the easiest fruit to eat - it can be astringent and mouth-puckering. It's much harder to harvest than pokeberry, which grows in abundence and lifts its unprotected berries up to the first incautious hand. But it is nutritious - lots of vitamins, and plenty of goodness. I think it's time to tend the blackcurrants, lest they be choked out.

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Blogger Little Black Car said...

Whoa. Just . . . whoa.

Absolutely lovely post, Elizabeth.

7/18/2006 7:32 AM  
Blogger ef (Pam) said...

Yeah, me too


7/18/2006 8:43 AM  
Blogger Plain Foolish said...

Thank you. My husband and I had a discussion on Sunday about knowing the tree by the fruit, and I sat with it until suddenly, I knew what to post.

As my husband put it, they may feel free to knock it off at any time.

7/18/2006 9:13 AM  
Blogger Don said...

Good writing, thoughts and metaphors. You are a gift. Peace.

7/18/2006 9:16 PM  
Blogger Lorcan said...

This is one of those posts to which I can only say, the Friend speaks my mind.
Dearly in the light friend and Friend

7/20/2006 12:22 PM  
Blogger Peterson Toscano said...

Well said. We need many more fruity people in this world. Ah, but how to consistently be one?

7/22/2006 6:49 PM  
Blogger Plain Foolish said...

Welcome, Peterson Toscano.

How to sustain it, indeed. That's the hard part. The wierd thing is that I went back home this weekend, and found that the blackberries and grapes were choking out the pokeweed. Now, that's a sign if ever I saw one.

7/24/2006 7:07 AM  
Blogger ef (Pam) said...

Go Blackberries!!!!!

7/25/2006 1:44 PM  

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