Mangoes for Everyone

They were wandering homeless in the desert, hungry and thirsty and faint. "Lord, help!" they cried, and he did! He led them straight to safety and a place to live. Oh, that these men would praise the Lord for his loving-kindness, and for all of his wonderful deeds! For he satisfies the thirsty soul and fills the hungry soul with good things. Psalms 107: 4-9 (TLB)

Gretchen Nelson lives in Florida. Every summer, the mango trees in her neighborhood produce an abundant harvest. Any fruit that falls over a tree-owner's fence are free to the first taker. Hundreds of beautiful, sweet mangoes fall to the ground when the wind blows, and each year Gretchen harvests the fallen fruit and freezes it to last the entire year.

When their city was hit by Hurricane Irma, they lost power for several days. All the mangoes Gretchen had recently preserved were ruined. She felt devastated. When mango season came the next year, Gretchen noticed many strangers looking for mangoes. People came on bikes, in cars, and on foot. Gretchen searched daily and found none. She felt defeated.

Finally, a few blocks away, Gretchen discovered two giant bags of mangoes lying by the side of the road for anyone to take. She praised God for the discovery, yet she felt a sense of guilt. She had blamed others for taking fruit that had never belonged to her and suddenly a gift of mangoes was given to her.

That day Gretchen learned that God will provide for all God's creatures. Our hunger will be filled. Now when Gretchen collects mangoes she leaves some of the fruit at the edge of her yard as her kind neighbors have taught her to do.

Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for all that you provide for us. Help us remember to share this bounty with one another in your holy name, amen.

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