From Bananas to Jesus
a post from Louise Brooks
I am so grateful that I have friends and family who like bananas. Really. Like. Bananas. This week I needed to have some ready to eat the day I bought them and others for later in the week. So, at the grocery store on Wednesday, I bought LOTS of bananas. Some really ripe and some slightly green. Some in bunches and some single. As the cashier at the grocery store was piling and balancing this assortment of yummy-ness on the scale, I felt compelled to explain why I had so many bananas. And, as God would have it, the cashier and I began chatting. First, about bananas, then about how they ate them in her country, and then I asked her more about her home and her family. And that’s when the conversation shifted.
I asked her if she still had family in her country in Africa and she waved her hand and said, “Mother. Father. Sister. Brother. All gone. My sister . . . The medicine . . . They couldn’t . . . She died . . .” and her eyes filled with tears.
“Oh. I am so sorry. That must be so hard,” I bumbled. And then I said, “My friend recently went to Africa on a medical missions trip. He went to find out if he wants to be a doctor. He told me it was hard. He told me he loved the people and the country. He’s going to go to school now to become a doctor.”
And then she smiled and said, “Yes. It is hard, but in our country we have God and we go to church and we pray to God. And that gives us hope!”
“Amen!” I proclaimed. “I don’t know what I would do without God!” And we knew then that we were sisters. So, I charged ahead and asked, “Have you found a church here? Where are you going to church?”
The smile faded. The hand waved. The tears came again. “It’s just . . . It’s hard . . . It’s not . . .”
And, so, I invited her to Restoration. “You should come to our church! We would love to have you! We meet on Quincy Street in a little brick church not far from here.” And I blurted out all the details I could in the hopes that she might say “Yes!”; that she might want to come to this place where we love and are loved; where we worship and encourage and support. She asked me to write down all those details. So now she has a little piece of paper with a name and an address and a phone number and nearby landmarks and an invitation to come be part of the hope that is in Christ Jesus.
I think about those bananas and how by peeling that protective skin piece by piece – question by question – you get to the sweet, nutritious fruit within.
May our conversations with others yield great fruit.