I love, love, love foraging for food. I was just outside in the drizzling rain harvesting the grapes which are growing wild on our property.
When I say wild, I mean that I have had absolutely nothing to do with it. I just walked outside one day and they were literally falling from the tree tops and bouncing off my head …like manna from heaven.
Well, as I see it, when God gives you grapes, you make wine! I mean, that’s what Jesus did (with water that is). For the last week I’ve been collecting grapes as they fall from the trees in hopes of attempting my first ever batch of home brew. I’ve already made two quarts of some pretty mean muscadine jam, if I do say so myself (and I do!), now it’s time to see what else I can whip…or ferment…up.
There are so many grapes in our treetops. When I say they are laden, that is an understatement. I literally cannot harvest most of them. They are either too high, fall into places I am not sticking my hands (we’ll see how good that wine is and then reevaluate), or get gobbled up by the critters before I can get to them. I am foraging about 2-3 pounds per day and in fact am probably only harvesting maybe a quarter of what is actually produced.
As I gathered those plentiful, plump, purple pearls, and thought about this fact, I started to feel angry. All of this food and yet…
There is no excuse for people to be starving to death around the world when one wild grapevine can produce five pounds of grapes per day.
We have four wooded acres, and it could undoubtedly feed our family all year if we were smart, foraged, and preserved–grapes, beauty berries, dewberries, dandelions, tomatoes, mushrooms (with great care), Indian strawberries. And these are just what’s growing wild–the stuff God provides with no help from me.
We won’t even discuss the stuff in the garden or the fact that a single zucchini plant can produce 25 pounds of produce in a year, or a single chicken could save an entire family from starvation. It makes me a little sick.
People shouldn’t die from hunger. What the heck are we doing in this world? Oh, I know it’s complicated–government subsidies, ag laws, taxes, export regs. But it shouldn’t be. It should be so stinking simple. “Feed the orphan and clothe the widow.”
God promises to provide for us. “Do not worry about what you will eat…” or “Who among you if your child asks for a fish would give him a stone…” The Bible is rife with promises of provision.
So why then, we ask, is He letting people starve? Why didn’t He provide for them? Where’s the fullfilment of that promise, Lord?
Then I look up into a tree laden with fat, purple grapes and realize, the answer is right here. He does, indeed, provide plentiful harvest, we just refuse to share.
As I ponder this, it finally dawns on me. Perhaps the deeper and more distressing truth is that God is looking down on us and asking, “I provided all of these grapes, so why did you let my children starve?”
That’s a darn good question. Because if our neighbor starves to death while we hoard (and waste) God’s provisions, that’s on us, not Him.
Beautifully, brokenly yours,