In the balmy heat of summer days we walked out to the garden. Stepping onto the soil that is something like a holy nursery, she bent low. A genuflection. She reached into the plant; next, a ruffled snap and the smell of bitter green. Standing tall with extended arm she offered it to me. I wanted to clap. Jump for the sake of joy, and cry all at once. Not because it was a tomato. But for the care and nurture that was put into a seedling to grow, and in the fullness of time when it was ripe and heavy with fruit, she plucked it from the vine. She thought of me. And offered a simple tomato … to me.
The offering was love.
The gift was love.
And if God is love then God was in that tomato.
I suppose that’s right.
Accepting gratefully I held the rosy-stretched-plump fruit to my nose and breathed it in deeply. So I wouldn’t forget the farm-blood scent of sacrifice. I found it necessary to turn away so she couldn’t see the tears spill from my face.