[Jesus] told this parable: "A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came looking for fruit on it and found none. So he said to the gardener, ‘See here! For three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree, and still I find none. Cut it down! Why should it be wasting the soil?’ He replied, ‘Sir, let it alone for one more year, until I dig around it and put manure on it. If it bears fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.’” - Luke 13.6-9
About six years ago, we planted this avocado tree at Agape House--the first hopeful step into our new communal garden. It struggled through salt burn from horse manure. It gave us a couple of small avocados once, but just languished. Then a vandal sadly snapped its trunk in half. We were sure it would die...and it was dead to all appearances. Slowly a shoot came from the dry stump, but I sure assumed it would never produce fruit again.
Nevertheless, we faithfully watered and composted around this avocado tree in trust and hope. Then another major impact hit--shade for most of the year from the new dorm next door and parking structure built right by the tree. Again, I assumed it would surely never produce fruit in shade almost all year--this photo is still just coming out of the shade at 10:40am! However, I was wrong yet again--you can see new avocados growing (a dozen!).
What is this tree teaching you? “Ask the animals, and they will teach you; the birds of the air, and they will tell you; ask the plants of the earth, and they will teach you; and the fish of the sea will declare to you. Who among all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? In [God's] hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of every human being." Job 12.7-10