By Their Fruit You Shall Judge Them, by Mark Ambrose
Hard words, Lord Christ! For what good fruits bear I?
For all your care and tending, what my yield?
You gave me to a garden well concealed
and watered me from fountains set on high;
you fertilized me with a wondrous food
and sent a Wind to strengthen and make straight.
How patiently you prune and pollinate
with an expert arborist’s solicitude.
And still my good works fall to earth unfinished,
my produce often stunted, bruised, or dented,
the rot upon my nature’s root augmented
by blights I brought and beauties I diminished.
God grant when I know others by their fruits,
I also recollect how weak their roots.
Fruits stem from roots. Mission stems from conversion. Conversion begins with an encounter with Jesus, who is alive, through the Holy Spirit, who is power! But, it does not end there – it is a never-ending, lifelong process. The roots must entrench deeper and deeper. May we let God bury our roots beyond our sight into the only good soil: Himself. Then – and only then – will we, without doubt, bear fruit for the Kingdom.