Commentary: Living in pear-less times

This week has been especially hard on our Missionary Family as the middle of the month is for most families. This is a time in the month where food is not in the greatest of supply and resources are thinning. While returning home from a day of visiting parishioners I traveled down my last stretch of road nearly to my house when I spotted a beautiful historic Georgia Church followed by an enormousness pear tree. The tree was blustering with pears covering a great deal of the owner’s yard spilling sidewalk, and street with many rotting away.

Pastor L. W. Gainey
Pastor L. W. Gainey

This was one of those days that Lunch-time had been hurried through with “no time to stop” and I could have eaten a horse if I didn’t love them so . My first human instinct was envy; “look at such waste!” was said in my mind before I even had time to process the thought. I suppose for a few minutes I stewed over the matter- I love pears, they have more than they can eat and there they lay rotting; such a pity.

Being a person of faith is often inconvenient; oh why can’t our conscience just enjoy our self pity without the voice of inner conviction? Alas here it came; analyzing my wrongful thinking. I began to have thoughts challenging my envy and knee jerk suppositions of waste. It occurred to me that I had not stopped and asked to have a pear; was that not lazy on my part? If not lazy was I too proud to ask? If not to proud did I “assume” the owner would say no? I could have offered to trade/work for the fruit, yet I didn’t.

Needless to say at this point I am entirely unhappy to have ever thought ill of the wasting fruit. Now as if Heaven and the Author of my Faith are having a bit of fun with me my mind is invaded with a supplemental series of questions:

Why did I assume the rot was waste? Is it not the role of the fruit to rot into seed bearing life? How very selfish of me to forget the “purpose” behind the pear! Ah Lord “It’s not all about me”- at this point I am laughing and forgot how hungry I was. How often do we think we know best what to do with another persons property? Or Government feel they know best how to protect us from what they consider our poor judgment?

The final thought I offer you is perhaps the most sublime as it was to me: I did not plant that Pear Tree, neither did it’s owner. By its size it was clear this tree was plated at least a generation before mine. I did not sew it, why then should I be entitled to reap? Could this be happening in America and the world? Is there a parallel between the haves and have-not’s and the disconnect between sewing/reaping? The world is filled with class warfare born out of envy that can, if left unchecked, give birth to a sense of entitlement.

Those who are poor are not more unworthy than the rich, and the rich find-themselves often envying the anonymity of the poor. Better to be happy with the pears I’ll buy with my own money than coveting a tree I never planted or despising it’s owner who I never took the time to ask to earn one or a dozen from. So until I ask, buy, or work let me remain in pear-lessness.