Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Dirty Work

"Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground? And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it." (Luke 13: 7-8)

The vineyard owner in this parable had reached the end of his patience. He wanted figs; but, alas, there weren't any, and hadn't been for three years. What good is a fig tree without figs? So he had decided to cut the thing down, since, after all, it was just taking up space. But his vine-dresser (Bless him!) was not ready to give up yet. He persuaded the owner to give the tree another chance, promising to work on it himself. And make no mistake; it would not be easy work. This tree would need digging, dunging—you know, dirty work. It would involve a whole lot more than just throwing some water on from time to time. But evidently he must have felt there was fruit somewhere in that little tree, if only one had the patience to nurture it.

I wonder if there is a similar "fig tree" in your life. Someone among family or friends that you see little reason to take time with. Perhaps their attitude, life style, or both, has "turned you off," and you've just kind of washed your hands of him or her. Well, I can understand that. It would take some dirty, hard work; and it might take every drop of human kindness you can squeeze out. But what if there is fruit within that poor, withering tree? And what if God could use it to feed a hungry world? The popular saying is, "It's a dirty job, but somebody's got to do it." Well, this is a dirty job; but nobody has to do it.

But somebody should do it, don't you think?

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