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Sunday, February 15, 2009


J. Grant Swank, Jr.

Atop my granola this morning I plopped several luscious strawberries—fresh and huge.

As I bit into the first strawberry, the thought came to my head: How shall I eat these succulent strawberries, especially on a Lord’s Day start?

Then God spoke to my head. He said: You can thank Me for the strawberries, one by one. You can also thank Me for the granola and the milk and the sugar. By the way, you can also thank Me for the blue bowl holding your breakfast.

Therefore, I thanked God for that first strawberry. And as my eyes scanned the others, I thanked Him for them as well. And so forth.

God then reminded me to pray for those who don’t have strawberries. There are many.

I interceded for the poor, the hungry, the mouths that had no strawberries, reminding myself not to complain about where I am in this life for there are vast numbers who have not the start-up of what surrounds me every day.

With the second strawberry, I saw little children’s faces looking in my kitchen window. They were without strawberries.

I felt so sorry for them. I wanted to reach out to them to hug them.

Then I looked at the front of my refrigerator. There is a photo of a little boy from another country. He sends us monthly letters. We respond with monthly letters and a check to help him buy school materials and things like that.

He mails us crayon drawings. We mail them on to relatives for them to enjoy his artwork, too.

We mail him photos of our children and grandchildren. He thanks us profusely for these family ties to his own life.

So that helped some. When I ate my strawberries, I committed myself all the more to continue my love and support for that little gent elsewhere. We would never let him go. He will always be a part of us.

Now that’s the way to eat a strawberry.


Jesus said:

Just then a lawyer stood up to test Jesus. "Teacher," he said, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?"

He said to him, "What is written in the law? What do you read there?"

He answered, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself."

And he said to him, "You have given the right answer; do this, and you will live."

But wanting to justify himself, he asked Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?"

Jesus replied, "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell into the hands of robbers, who stripped him, beat him, and went away, leaving him half dead.

Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.

So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.

But a Samaritan while traveling came near him; and when he saw him, he was moved with pity.

He went to him and bandaged his wounds, having poured oil and wine on them. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him.

The next day he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said, 'Take care of him; and when I come back, I will repay you whatever more you spend.'

Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?"

He said, "The one who showed him mercy." Jesus said to him, "Go and do likewise."