First Fruit

Betsy sold us two tomato plants this spring, and we planted them in the front flower bed so we could remember to care for them, water them and watch them grow.

Although yellow blooms grew on the plants as they spread their limbs we saw no sign of a tomato.

For several weeks we watched the vines take over the front end of the porch and we pulled a few weeds and poured on the water.

Then on the limb closest to the house, a small tomato appeared.  Our firstborn!  Tenderly I moved debris and watched for pests.

School had started when the big tomato had tinged a bit red.  I imagined the bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich Ken and I would have for dinner. Maybe a slice would be left to go with our eggs at breakfast.

Our tomato was near picking when we left for a two day get-a-way.  Should I go ahead and pick it or let it fully ripen  on the vine?  Ken and I agreed to leave it.

Back from our trip, I hurried to the flower bed to pick my first tomato, and it was gone. Other small green tomatoes now hung from the vines, but the first tomato had disappeared. No, it had not fallen to the ground.  It was missing. No signs of the tomato remained.

Who picked it? Someone wandering by our house the morning we left town?  A child? An animal, bird or raccoon? Maybe some hungry person, raised near farmland, who thought picking produce–just one–would be okay.

For a while I grieved, remembering my joy at seeing it flourish. Then I realized how silly.  In the ‘frig I had a large red tomato from the grocery store. I also had blueberries, strawberries, vegetables and meats; I was blessed. Besides other small tomatoes grew on the vines.

I was slowly letting go of  my first born tomato when I remembered the Hebrews were asked to give their first fruit to God. What a sacrifice.

Then I remembered God’s promise to open the windows of heaven and pour upon them blessings in response to their faith.

So I relinquished my disappointments in prayer, and God replaced them with a song.

Give Them All to Jesus