Grace and Peace to you.
A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard;
and he came looking for fruit on it and found none.
So he said to the gardener, “See here! For three years
I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree,
and still I find none. Cut it down!
Why should it be wasting the soil?”
The gardener replied, “Sir, let it alone for one more year,
until I dig around it and put manure on it.
If it bears fruit next year, well and good;
but if not, you can cut it down.”
they said you were the one with the ax,
the demanding one, the avenging punisher—
but you are not him. You are the giver of life,
the one with nothing but loving care,
not one who commands, for whom I must produce,
but one who tends me, so that I bear fruit.
Yes, you are the one who protects me from the other!
I look for you looming above me and you are not there.
You are beneath, digging at my roots.
Will you forgive me if I flinch when I see the ax?
Will I let you dig around me,
loosen the soil I count on to hold me fast?
Will I welcome the manure, and all that it means,
for my nourishment?
Will I let your grace into my deepest roots?
Will I hear your voice not of threat but of nurture?
Will I recognize that greater power?
Will I let your manure of utter self-giving and death
bear fruit in me?
tend to me
and I will bear the fruit of your love.
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