Emily Belle Freeman
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THIS IS MY JOY

AND MY GREAT REJOICING

Banana Friday

They called it Banana Friday. The third Friday of every month, well every summer month, the months when the weather was warm enough for neighborhood night games.

Banana Friday was different than the other Friday nights:  To play the night games on that Friday you had to bring a piece of fruit.

Two fifteen-year-old boys organized the whole thing.  Two ninth graders.  Joe, and Nate.

And that probably makes you feel a tad bit worried.  Ya, I know you are wondering what they were going to do with all that fruit.  It could be a scary thought.

They gathered it up.  They put it in a huge basket.  And then they dropped it off on the porch of someone in their neighborhood who they thought needed it most.

This huge group of kids, sneaking through the neighborhood with a big basket of fruit.  Quietly approaching the front porch, ringing the doorbell, and running away like the wind leaving their simple offering there on the welcome mat.

And then, after the offering was gifted, the night games began.

It's crazy, but the kids came out in droves on the third Friday.  Oh sure, they tried to come every Friday…but no one missed Banana Friday.  It was the most well attended night of games of the whole month.

The backyard was crammed to bursting with all of them there…filling up that basket with fruit.

Now Nate and Joe are serving as missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

The gift they are offering is different.

But still they approach the front porch, ring the doorbell, and offer fruit.

Now, it's the fruit of the Spirit.

On Wednesday I attended Bible Study.  It's one of my most favorite things to do.

We always begin with prayer.

This week one line of that prayer stood out to me, "Let the fruits of the Spirit live loudly in our lives."

The words left a deep impression on my heart.

It's because I associate the Spirit with quietness, speaking softly, a whisper.

And yet, this is a week when I am in particular need of that blessing

…for the fruits of the Spirit to live loudly in my life.

Louder than the voice of the world, the voices of doubt, the cacophony of my life.

I need the sweetness of the Spirit to overtake all of that commotion.

I have pondered since then on what my life would look like if the fruits of the Spirit lived loudly within me.

Today I am going to try it.

It's the third Friday.  Banana Friday.

And I am gathering fruit.

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Emily Freeman