We had a death on the farm last fall—one of our two young pear trees left the other standing all by itself. It’s alive but it won’t grow fruit. The poor lonely pear needs a companion. It needs a different companion, similar to itself in kind, but different in variety. That’s how pear trees grow and flourish and bear good fruit. They need differences to thrive. And so do we.
Since spring is here and planting season will begin shortly, I pulled out my nursery catalog and began looking at pear trees. So many varieties! So much diversity! So much sweet goodness!
The Seckel has small fruit but the best quality. It’s exceptionally sweet, juicy, and delicately flavored. It’s a slow grower but it’s highly productive. (She would be my best friend.)
The Moonglow is blight resistant and produces fruit at an early age. They are delightfully sweet and ripen two weeks earlier than most other varieties. (Quick bloomers bug me!)
The Beurre Bosc is called the “fruit of fruits” because they exceed Bartlett in resisting both heat and cold. They laugh at 25 degrees below zero and do well in heavy, clay soils like ours even with no feeding. They bloom late and avoid frost kill. Talk about hardy! (And WHY do I have to be so darn sensitive?!)
The Red Anjou is a soft pear, flowing with juice. Its color gets more beautiful with age, its skin stays smooth, and its flavor peaks about two months after picking, making it an excellent keeper. (It’s gotta be Botox!)
And that Colette? Well, SHE’S an EVER-BEARING! Ever-bearing fruit, she just goes on and on and on. (Gag me!)
Should the Moonglow say to the Red Anjou, “I wish I were you because you’re more popular and more beautiful!”? Should the Colette say to the Moonglow, “You ripen faster, but I’m like the Everyready rabbit!”? Should the Beurre Bosc say to the Seckel, “Hurry up and produce fruit! And by the way, why are you such a slow grower?”
I’m starting to feel some competitive juices flowing through my human veins—some comparative judgments ripening, ready to sour the sweet.
But pears don’t do this to other pears.
Are we not wiser than pears?
They know they need each other.
Pears require two different varieties for proper pollination. And some require more than two different varieties. Without proper pollination, there’s no fruit. Sharing is caring, the big purple dinosaur taught our kids!
So, next time I look upon another human being, especially another woman, I’m going to think of them all as fruits! Shall we all?
Let’s look at each other as gifts, not curses. Let’s treat each other with appreciation, not disdain. Let’s embrace our God-created differences, not just our similarities. Let’s remember that we’re all better off with each other than withouteach other, though dealing with differences is challenging. Because it’s our differences that produce the best fruit if we root deeply together in God.
If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. I Corinthians 12:17-18