Ugly!

by Christine Berglund

Black Krim is the worst-looking variety of tomato that I have ever grown.

Here it is October, and we finally got a few out of the garden that hadn’t rotted on the vine. Oh, sure, we should have staked them up to keep them off the ground, because it’s not my favorite pastime to cut up a tomato that a bug or critter has already half-devoured.

But we had an overabundance of cherry tomatoes this year, and were eating them like candy. Who needs ugly tomatoes that look like they had been in a boxing ring, and lost? Me.

After a few weeks of seeing my crop lost to the birds, bugs, and bunnies, I finally picked a few that were still way too green on top. After all, the nighttime temperatures kept threatening a freeze. Who would have guessed that these were actually perfectly ripe tomatoes?

So I made the classic bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich; and decided that henceforth, every other BLT shall be judged on how well it replicates the taste of that Black Krim masterpiece. It was one of the most delectable things that has ever crossed my lips!

My knowledge of this type of tomato, new to my garden, had been totally insufficient. I had not done my homework!

Consequently I pre-judged these superb fruits to be unripe, unworthy of my table. They were dark green on top, obvious to me that they were not ready to eat. Their purple hue resembled bruises, and most were scarred with ugly cracks. How wrong I was!

Prejudice is a scary thing. While my tomatoes didn’t care whether they ended up on the compost heap or my plate, what about people we pre-judge? They get hurt, but we also lose out when we think poorly of others without cause.

How many friendships are not made because of prejudice? We may have heard something about someone, and never given them, or ourselves, a chance. So many opportunities and relationships are missed.

Judging on first appearances or on what we think we know is not good enough. I thought I knew a green tomato when I saw it. My new variety proved me wrong. It was already ripe, begging to be enjoyed at my table. Instead, I waited too long before harvesting, allowing them to crack and rot.

Jesus Christ and Christianity can be similarly looked at as undesirable.

“For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant,
And as a root out of dry ground.
He has no form or comeliness;
And when we see Him,
There is no beauty that we should desire Him” (Isaiah 53:2 NKJV).

Our artists and moviemakers portray Jesus as good-looking, with European features. This passage from Isaiah makes me wonder if he resembled my Black Krims. It doesn’t matter what his physical appearance was, he was the perfect Son of God, and the only salvation for fallen mankind.

His suffering on the cross made him an object of ridicule and a cause for stumbling for some. How can a beaten, bloody man do anything to affect our eternity? But he has! He has done everything!

Does Christianity look foolish or unworthy to you?

“But we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God” (I Corinthians 1:23, 24).

Look closely. Judge wisely.

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Richard lives in Florence, Alabama and is married to Deirdre. They have three daughters. He is an avid reader, devoted writer and lover of history and research. He is the author of "The Most Important Question" and is working on more books.

One thought on “Ugly!

  1. I think this is my favorite of the garden series. Thanks for reminding us that our Savior and our faith are ordinary and unappealing in looks and the we’ve got to see past the ordinary and unappealing in others!

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