I could eat blueberries by the handful.  In fact, that is my preferred method.  Sure, I could get Tracie to make a pie, or I could mix up a tasty batch of blue lemonade.  But why?  I enjoy them just as much by themselves, and it’s far less work for everyone involved.  And less waiting for me.

And when I say “handful,” I’m serious.  They last longer, of course, if you eat them one by one.  But all blueberries are not created equal.  Some are a touch overripe; some equally underripe.  Neither of these edges of the spectrum are entirely satisfying.  But when I eat four or five at a time, the extra tart and extra sweet elements get mixed together, creating an experience far richer than anything produced by any single berry, however perfect it might be.

I take my Christians the same way.  Some are a bit more or a bit less to my personal taste.  And I have come to actually prefer it that way.  I need varieties of judgment, experience and expertise.  It broadens the experience.  I see my brethren as not just individuals, but also a part of a whole.  I love my brethren for who they are instead of trying to turn them into versions of myself (Romans 14:1).  The body is better because of the differences among the members.

It’s more challenging that way, of course — and sometimes more frustrating.  But love “bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (1 Corinthians 13:7).

Some berries are actually rotten, of course.  Those need to be culled instead of absorbed.  But that’s an analogy for another time. 

About Hal Hammons

Hal is the preacher for the Lakewoods Drive church of Christ in Georgetown, Texas. He is also the host of the Citizen of Heaven podcast, available through most podcast providers as well as YouTube. He and his wife Tracie are the parents of two daughters, owners of one miniature schnauzer, and custodians of a disturbingly large collection of board games.