Bananas and Babylon

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Our less than wonderful neighborhood Save-A-Lot periodically sells their very ripe bananas for .25 a lb..  You automatically know which ones are the discounted bananas because they wrap them in red tape in order to draw your attention right to them.  We literally celebrate when this happens, and we buy up as many as we can.  We bring them home and we peel, break in half, and FREEZE them!!!!! 😀 I know this does NOT sound like anything to rejoice over but man oh man, it really is! We use frozen bananas daily, so at the going rate of .44 -.58 per lb, getting them for .25 is fantastic!  You would think the bananas sell quickly once they are marked down, but they don’t.  People coming into the store will go right over the bananas that are already browning for the ones that are still a little green on the outside, or at least yellow with no sign of aging.  You see, at first glance, the bananas above look a little worse for wear.  There’s one on the bottom that is just screaming ‘Put me out of my misery, PLEASE!’  If we are not careful, we will be sooooo focused on the outside of the banana that we’ll miss what lies inside.  I mean, seriously, most of us do not want over ripened, squishy, brown bananas…I know they’re not my kids favorites. Even though they may be very sweet, the brown soft appearance of them isn’t exactly appetizing.  But most of us have probably found that it’s when the banana looks like the life is going out of it, that they taste the best.  After all, the yellow skin is NOT the banana, it’s what protects the banana that’s inside.

Now, let’s think about that as it pertains to people.  Just like we have our bias’ when it comes to fruit that looks less than perfect, our culture has promoted the development of that same bias towards people who appear to be less than perfect. I even read a story recently in which a woman and her husband were pregnant with twins and discovered that one of the twins had a congenital heart defect.  Due to the probability of years of surgery for the child, the parents opted to abort the less than perfect baby and keep the healthy one.  The doctors mistakenly aborted the healthy one instead to the dismay of the parents. The unhealthy child was then killed during a three hour long emergency c-section! Click the link below to read the story.

My heart breaks over the ‘bananas’ in the world who appear less than perfect on the outside, but are filled with treasure and joy and goodness on the inside.  How many decisions have we made about people without even knowing them, simply based on a first impression, or their outward appearance…or something we heard from someone else.  I really wish those parents had made the choice to enjoy loving and being loved by both of their children.  When we prejudge based on information that could be faulty or misleading, we risk losing so much more than we gain.  I have made some terrible first impressions in my life much like my ripe bananas, and I have been judged for those and saw potential relationships wither before any real growth could take place.  And I have judged, or made decisions about people or situations, without having all of the facts, and without displaying much grace.  Having been on both sides of the fence on this one, I can say that in most cases I was wrong, as were those who prejudged me. I guess my point in all this is think with your head and your heart when it comes to life and people and worth.  In our society we mirror Babylon in so many ways.  I couldn’t help but think of King Nebuchadnezzar’s command to Ashpenaz…

“Then the king ordered Ashpenaz, his chief of staff, to bring to the palace some of the young men of Judah’s royal family and other noble families, who had been brought to Babylon as captives.

 “Select only strong, healthy, and good-looking young men,” he said. “Make sure they are well versed in every branch of learning, are gifted with knowledge and good judgment, and are suited to serve in the royal palace.”

Daniel 1:3-4

 And my heart broke…. Are we there? Do we only want the strong, the healthy, the good-looking?  Are we only interested in the intelligent, the gifted and the wise?  If we are, God help us… We have to place a value on every life that exceeds our outward appearance or contributions.  We have kids killing themselves because they are mocked and bullied because they don’t look like they’re bound for the big screen…and we have parents killing their kids because they will be born less than perfect.  Don’t overlook the bananas that have brown spots all over them.  Don’t ignore them or make fun of them or throw them away.  Don’t tell others that it’s not worth it to open them up and see what they have to offer…how they may enrich your life, and how you may enrich theirs.  Don’t do it.  The world around us may be actively involved in that kind of classification, but we don’t have to be.  Take some time to get to know the real God does.

Have you had experiences where you were prejudged or you did the prejudging?  What was the end result?  How did you feel? What did you learn from that experience? 😀


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