Friday, May 09, 2008

Fruit Cocktail Food for Thought: A Meditation on "Macedonia"

One day I was at Dono di Maria (Gift of Mary), a house for the poor run by the Missionaries of Charity in the Vatican. I was helping with the clean-up after dinner when a bunch of fruit in a bowl caught my eye.

I was used to seeing fruit or vegetables set aside on the counter, but this evening it hit me that all the fruit in the bowl was either bruised or partially rotten or missing a chunk or two. This was also not surprising as the sisters there try to use all that God has given them.

But that evening I asked the sister in charge of the kitchen what she wanted done with this fruit. She told me, "Oh, just put it aside. I was going to make macedonia (fruit cocktail), but there was not enough time."

As she said this I couldn't help imagining her carefully cutting out the rotten parts so as to save the good parts of the fruit.

And immediately my eyes began to tear up as I realized that just as the good sister didn't throw out the fruit just because it was rotten or bruised or broken, but rather knew exactly what to do to make good use of the fruit, likewise, God, in His love and goodness, does not throw us away because of our wounds or sins or brokenness. Rather, like the sister, He knows how to make good use of us as we are despite our short-comings. But even more so, He knows how to heal those very wounds and make us whole.