In the apple-growing state of Maine in America, I was visiting a farmer friend and saw an apple tree so loaded down with fruit that the branches had to be propped up to keep them from breaking under the weight of apples. When 1 remarked about the fruitfulness of the tree, my friend said to me, “Go over and look at that tree’s trunk down near the bottom.”
There I saw that the tree had been badly wounded by a big gash across its side. The farmer explained, “That is something we have learned about apple trees. When the growing tree tends to run to wood and leaves and not to fruit, we stop it by wounding it, by cutting into its bark. And we don’t know why, but almost always the result is that the tree turns its energies to producing fruit.”
Could that be a parable for some of us human apples trees in the God‘s orchard? Christ‘s death on the cross bore the fruits of our redemption. Some of the best people in the world suffered a lot; wounded, and purified by the pain, they bore great fruits of goodness.