The last two times I remember eating an orange I also had the unfortunate timing of getting the stomach flu. Ick. Needless to say, I have since avoided oranges at every occasion. Until now…
Early September my time with team United Pursuit in Guatemala City came to a close. I traveled across the capital to spend the next week doing life and ministry with team Toolbox. During the half hour taxi ride I began praying about how God saw this team, what He had in store for them and how I could love and serve them well. Curiously enough the image He gave me was of an orange. I had to laugh and ask again, “An orange? You know I don’t like oranges. What are you trying to tell me?”
As I prayed, He answered faithfully with great detail. One invests time and intentionality when eating an orange, first getting through the peel and then enjoying the sweet fruit underneath. And the best way to get through the inedible flesh? Why with your hands, of course. Getting the waxy peel underneath your nails, staining your hands and fingers with the sweet scent and orange-tint for hours to come. It can get a little messy, requires time and, again, investment.
But once you break through the surface, therein lies the beautiful fragrant fruit. It’s fruit is composed of multiple sections, yet one slice alone does not make up an orange. It’s just one part of the whole fruit. But together, united and whole they are one orange.
This is how God sees team Toolbox: a fragrant orange ready to receive an investment of love, and in turn be tasted and shared amongst the body and the nations. It is no coincidence that this team, like an orange, is composed of multiple parts ready to be sent out to bring life and refreshment to those within their reach. It may take time and investment to break through the flesh, but once there, we receive the blessing of their presence to enjoy the rich, sweet fruit and fragrance within. It is a fruit unlike any other. They are a fruit unlike any other, the sweetest kind.