When we moved into our house, towards the end of last year, the landlord took us through each room, as well as outdoors, explaining everything he thought we might need to know.
Upon seeing a huge tree, propped up and hovering over the driveway – and dropping lots of leaves- we asked him what type of tree it was. He replied that it was a mango tree, and added that he thought it bore fruit for many months of the year. To say that we were excited at the thought of having an abundance of juicy, sweet mangoes was an understatement!!
In the months that followed, as we swept those piles of falling leaves each day, we waited expectantly for the tree’s first sign of fruit.
Month after month we waited… until May this year when we suddenly started to spot them, high up on the branches, far from our reach. A few mangoes did eventually fall from the tree but, when they did, they were over-ripe or had evidence that a squirrel or two had already sampled them.
My husband, not to be outdone by the squirrels, climbed up onto the carport roof with a makeshift, net-fruit-picker and recruited the rest of us to be ‘catchers’ down below.
Waiting on the ground to seize the mangoes as they catapulted though the air from up high, we filled our buckets and baskets to overflowing. The warm temperature inside our house was the perfect climate to ripen the mangoes and 1-2 days after picking, they reached… perfection! We ate mango after mango, gave away mangoes and had enough to cut up and freeze as well.
The same week we hit the “mango jackpot”, my daughter discovered that the papaya tree in the backyard also had fruit ready to pick. So she decided to start making som-tum (green papaya salad). She’d leant how to make it at school and generously, kept offering to make it for lunch or dinner for our family.
We all enjoyed eating as much as she would make us. It was so delicious. One night after filling up on som-tum and our homegrown mangoes, I sent a message to a friend with a food photo saying:
Then it hit me. The sudden realisation that here I was, relishing in the juicy fruits of two trees that I didn’t plant, nor had I watered when they were just sprouts in the ground, or pruned as saplings. In fact I hadn’t done any ‘work’ at all, well… except for sweeping all those leaves!!
Suddenly I began to wonder how many years ago those trees had been planted. Who had cared for them all this time? Who had helped them grow to maturity and strength, able to produce fruit and withstand the various weather elements?
And whilst I will probably never find out the answers to those questions, I suddenly saw a connection between that mango tree and ‘prayer’. Hear me out!
Sometimes we pray for people, healing, or for seemingly impossible situations to turn around, but we don’t see the answer until much, much later. Have you ever prayed about something but it took years until you saw it resolved?
Just like we were enjoying the fruit off a tree that we didn’t plant or care for, I realised that I was eating “answered prayer”… okay that sounds weird!
What I mean is that, if prayer is like planting a seed, then continuing to pray is like watering it and receiving the answer is like eating the fruit.
When it comes to big prayers like rescuing children from child trafficking or ending modern day slavery, although we hope to, we might never actually see the answer in our lifetime… but we can be the ones planting the tiny seeds. Let's continue to plant seeds and pray big, expectant prayers!
*During our 6 week trip back to Australia, we got to see many answers to prayers, but we also got to “plant” a lot of seeds too. You can read more about our trip back, here.
Oh... and this was our little dog, just before we moved house - helping me pack!!! 😒😊