When I was younger, I enjoyed anything artsy. I loved music, I tinkered around with drawing and I wrote about things that touched me. Just like then, sometimes now, when I am sad God gives me the greatest words. Well, to me they are (wink). I think it is His way of encouraging me.
I wrote this poem once. I think it was written after a young-love breakup.
The Banana Poem
“The heart is like a banana, when toyed with too often, becomes bruised and ugly to look at.”
Annette R (Taylor) Burrell
You may be asking yourself, “How can that be encouraging?’
At first glance, you are absolutely right. It is a sad picture of what can happen when bitterness takes hold of the soul. But the moral of the story is the after part.
I wonder how Hagar felt when she was all alone in the desert after she ran away from Sarai. The Bible tells us that she began to despise Sarai when she discovered she was pregnant, and she ran away when Sarai began to mistreat her. She must have been at her lowest when God spoke to her at the well.
“Hagar, slave of Sarai, where have you come from and where are you going?” “I’m running away from my mistress Sarai, she answered.”
Genesis 16:7-8 (NIV)
The conversation between Hagar and God continues in Genesis and He tells her what she already knows, and He reveals to her something she doesn’t. He tells her what is going to happen to her and the son she is carrying inside. He speaks to her in her running away, and He sees her where she is. She even names the well “Beer Lahai Roi”, in honor of El Roi, which means the God who sees me.
When I wrote The Banana Poem years ago, I had no idea where the words came from. Sure, it was how my heart was feeling at the time, but it was more than just that. As I sit here today, God brought that poem back to my mind. I think He is saying to me, “I see you. I saw you then and I see you now. I saw you the other night when you felt left out; I was there. I was with you then and I am with you now.”
I so often forget that God is right beside me every single minute of every single day of my life.
Matthew 28:20b (NIV) says, “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Jesus promised this to His disciples when He was teaching them how to spread the Gospel to others after He was no longer with them.
This same promise is meant for us today. God is with us always and He will be with us to the very end.
I don’t know where you are in your life right now. Maybe you have been hurt. Maybe you are running away from something or someone. Maybe you’ve become so bitter that you feel like there is no hope.
These are the greatest words: There is hope. I know the one who sees you. And even though you may be bruised, He sees the beauty in you. He sees your broken heart and He longs to heal your wounded spirit. He longs to take the burden from you.
Jesus says in Matthew 11:28 (NIV), “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
The Banana Poem was just that, a poem. It was given to me in a season of my life when a relationship with a boy was more important to me than a relationship with my Heavenly Father. I have grown up and while I may get bruised by outside circumstances, there is still beauty in me because of the hope that comes from El Roi, the one who sees me.
I can choose to allow bitterness to sneak into my broken heart or I can look to the One who sees me to get me through it and bring me joy in the after part.
How about you? Will you allow Him to heal your bitterness and put your broken pieces back together? He longs to bring you joy in your after part.