Apple Blessings 16 Dec 11

Why is it that the ones most grateful for the blessings in their lives are always the ones who have already been to hell and back? What is it about human nature that we seem to be programmed this way?  I have never heard of anyone say “I feel so blessed” unless they have been though some real trauma in their lives. Must we be so blind to our blessings until then?

Christmas time somehow brings this point home to me. I think because I can really see how materialistic we can be, as Americans. That leads me to think, “Is this am American phenomenon?” I have several friends from other countries, but have never really asked them this question. I am aware of so many other cultural differences, and since our countries are so different, I’m not sure if there can be a fair comparison here.

The most stark expression of feeling blessed I ever saw was from my first exchange student. It was not long after she had arrived. It was 1999, and she was from former East Germany. She remembers the change when the walls came down. She remembers the shift in attitudes from sharing with the neighbors to competing among the neighbors. What got me the most was a simple, random act of hers. One I am sure she is not aware of the impact on me, even though we spoke about it.

The act? Eating an apple.

It sounds so stupid, yet it is so true. See, what was unique for me was the way she ate it. Think of an apple core. When you eat an apple (without cutting it up), what is left when you are done? There is the stem, some apple flesh at the top, and bottom, a little bit around the middle, and of course the seeds in their tough casing at the center. However, on this occasion, the result was different, and changed my perceptions of feeling blessed.

When she was done, all that was left was the stem and the seeds in their casings. NO apple flesh remained. None. I never knew you could eat an apple down to that. I had never done that, had you? Looking at that stem, and those seeds, I asked her about it. She told me of how they didn’t have a lot, but they were blessed to have enough.

I thought, enough? Who considered themselves to have enough when you feel hungry enough to eat an apple down to that nothingness? Yet she was right. She did have enough.

She had a whole apple’s worth of enough at that moment.

To me, that is the “core” of being blessed.


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