On Wings Of Eagles

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Thursday, December 1, 2011

Tomato Good or Bad

Psalm 34:8 Help us make the 
Taste and see that the LORD is good;
   blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.

A crowd of curious, expectant people gathered around the county courthouse in Salem, New Jersey. The county fair was in progress, and they jostled one another in eager anticipation, for they were about to witness a daring feat.

Soon a man appeared on the steps, holding in one hand a beautiful red-ripe fruit which had been part of the fair's decorations. Members of the crowd whispered excitedly to one another as he held it up for them to see.

"Is he really going to eat it?" some asked, incredulously.

The man was Colonel Robert Gibbon Johnson; the year was 1820; and the fruit was-a tomato, called in those days a love apple and considered deadly poison. Love apples were tokens of courtship or lawn decorations. Young men gave them to their girl friends, who would afterward wear the seeds in sachets around their necks. The fruit was admired for its beauty, but no one-repeat, no one-would dream of eating it.

The crowd gasped in horror as the colonel deliberately placed the tomato in his mouth, and ate it with apparent relish. They waited breathlessly, expecting soon to see him writhing in agony, dying on the courtyard steps.

But nothing like that happened. Instead-

He ate a second tomato, explaining, as he ate, that tomatoes were delicious either cooked or raw. He praised their color and texture. Then he invited the onlookers to join him in his meal, and a few of the braver ones went forward. Soon they too were pronouncing the tomatoes good.

The news spread rapidly, and eventually tomatoes graced most of the tables of the world, an accepted article of diet everywhere.

If Colonel Johnson had not eaten that tomato, it is possible that people would still be admiring "love apples" and shrinking with horror from the thought of tasting how good they are.

Dear Lord we pray that we would be willing to do the things that we know are right. Help us make the right decisions. We pray that our boldness will bring others to You. In Jesus’ name, Amen. 

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