Francis Drake, Privateer

A privateer was a private warship authorized by his country to attack foreign shipping

Looking for fruit.

This is really a follow on from my last post about God speaking to us, or to be more precise, us hearing God. To be even more precise this post is about SEEING IN THE SPIRIT.

My wife and I really got into making fruit jams over the last few years. Over a season we made hundreds of jars and really got into the swing of things. What delighted us more than anything was using wild fruit from the woods and the hedgerows.

Everyone in the UK knows that the hedges are full of blackberries, and that always gives anyone an abundant source of great jam making. However we noticed something we had never seen before. The hedgerows are also full of apple trees and plum trees, sloe bushes etc. Well maybe not quite full, but nevertheless, up to this point in time we thought the hedgerows empty of any fruit other than blackberry.

Near where we lived we picked buckets full of plums, damsons, sloes, bullaces and apples. It happened gradually. We first found some plum trees at the end of our lane. To our thinking it was a rarity. We kept it secret, watching everyone driving by without noticing. As soon as they were ripe we grabbed a load. However once we got used to that we found that as we drove around the lanes, it was as if our eyes had woken up. Suddenly, even zipping along at 50 mph, one of us would cry out “apple tree” or “plum tree”.

This might sound crazy, but at that speed we could not possibly see apples or plums, nor could we see the leaf shape. If anyone said to us what does an apple or a plum tree look like, we could never particularly describe it, within a crowded leafy hedgerow. The fact was that our eyes were becoming atuned to something beyond our intellect.

It really came home one year when we were looking for sloes. A sloe is a relative of the plum. It tastes like battery acid, but makes fantastic sloe gin though. For several Christmasses we had gained a reputation for our sloe gin gifts. This particular year there was nationally a great shortage of stone fruits, plum, cherry sloe etc. so we were in trouble.

A friend had an old orchard on his land and we were apple and blackberry picking there. It was just before dusk, and we were about to pack in for the day. As we headed back across the land towards the car with our catch, I glanced at a distant boundary hedge against the dimming sky. I suddenly said to my wife, “those are sloe trees.” She looked and instantly agreed. We stood rooted to the spot because we realised that we had no way we could possibly say why we knew they were sloes. The light was dimming, they were almost silhouetted, it was hazy air, they were nearly 100 yards away. There was an extremely mild bluing of the general outline, but that was also true everywhere. We just stood trying to work out why we knew and we could not in the least bit say why. There was just something about them that said SLOE.

We walked up to the hedge, and sure enough this was the best sloe harvest we had seen all season. However we were amazed at the powerful gift of discernment. To make it clear, I am not talking about the spiritual gift of discerment. I am talking about the fact that in a short period of time, our eyes had become attuned to discerning things which had been unseen before. These things were now not only seen, but seen in the most difficult of circumstances, and without a guide book. Our eyes were learning, or our brains were becoming better at interpreting the image our optical equipment sent down the line.

No amount of classroom lessons would have taught our eyes what they needed to learn. In fact the thing which blew our minds was that our intellect still could not say what the recognition parameters were. We both just knew it when we saw it.


This is just like seeing in the spirit. Until you exercise that spiritual muscle, it just lies dormant. Until we started to make wild fruit jams we never SAW anything of value in the hedgerow. Until we decide to make something with our spirit eyes, we will never learn to see.



December 23, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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