I was five years old, I think, when I ate so many strawberries that I got sick. That turned me against them for a while, but not for long.
Strawberries are one of the many wonders of God’s creation, and the arrival of local berries in springtime is one of life’s simple pleasures, not only for themselves but as a prelude to blackberries and blueberries yet to come, not to mention the tomatoes, squash, and other vegetables that pack our little garden boxes.
Strawberries are delicious most anytime, but pack a special sweetness when eaten surreptitiously in one of those “you-pick-’em” fields where you can snack while you pack.
The problem then is that you wind up with a big bucket of berries whose stamina is fleeting. Strawberries don’t freeze well (unless you like them mushy), so if you don’t have plans for jam, making use of them requires some creativity beyond livening up your morning cereal or Greek yoghurt.
But they work really well on a salad with feta cheese and balsamic dressing, they can make for a killer salsa, and there’s always strawberry shortcake, strawberry pie, strawberry muffins, strawberry smoothies …
Even with all the options, I inevitably end up having a few berries go bad and having to throw them away. That’s sad, but it comes with the territory.
I wonder sometimes if that’s a little bit like the way God feels when contemplating the human piece of creation, humans who have so much potential for so many good things, but can also go bad. The happy news is that humans, unlike moldy strawberries, don’t have to be thrown away: God found a way to redeem even the most rotten of us.
No doubt we can be enough to make God sick — but thankfully, not for long.