The Season of Oranges and Unfinished Writing Projects

This article is an entry in the MAI Devotional Writing Contest. Try your hand at a 400-word devotional to encourage fellow writers worldwide. See contest guidelines and rules.

By Melanie N. Brasher, Canada

He has made everything beautiful in its time. ~Ecclesiastes 3:11

In the cool November air, I sip tea on my porch, watching my boys play make-believe under the orange tree. Today they transform sticks into airplanes and our broken cricket bat into a sword, but all play ceases when my preschooler finds a treasure.

“Look, Mama,” My preschooler presses his nose to the green screen. “It’s orange! Can we eat it?”

Laughter crinkles my eyes. A few weeks ago, I had told the boys not to pick or eat OrangeBloss_wb  Ellen Levy Finch Wikipediathe green oranges before they were ripe. But today, the sun has kissed the peels orange. We pop the juicy segments into our mouths, smacking our lips.

In the summer, our family enjoyed our fill of mangoes. Churned the yellow flesh in our blender. And for some time, we watched our gardener knock down a fruit the locals call jamun, our house helper sprinkling salt on the purple fruit, sucking the flesh from its pit. And now the trees sport oranges sweeter than clementines. Petite lemons perfect for pickling.

In my corner of the world, I’m learning to eat fruit in season, to wait for the ripening, for God makes everything beautiful in His time.

My dad turned seventy-five this year, and though I had hoped to gift him the completed manuscript of my first novel, I only sent the first one hundred pages. Somewhere in my mad rush to complete, I realized my first draft needed rewriting. In the midst of reconstructing my story, people knocked on my door. Three little boys begged for their Mama. Fellow co-workers experienced an extended family tragedy. And in those moments, I put aside my writing and simply lived.

Though my novel is still unfinished, I know it is ripening like the oranges. My experiences are sweetening the story, deepening the flavor, and I will complete the story at the appointed time.

“Can I have another one?” My preschooler asks after we’ve consumed two of the sweetest oranges I have tasted in a long time.

“Why not?” I pluck the ripened fruit ready to fulfill their purpose—to satisfy all those who have waited.

Dear Jesus,
Teach me to wait for your perfect timing in all aspects of my life. I entrust my dreams and this gift of writing to you. Amen.

Melanie N. Brasher is a fiction and freelance writer, the wife of a professor, and the mother to three young boys. When she’s not chasing little feet or feeding hungry mouths, she creates stories, entering her world of make-believe. Follow Melanie’s writing journey on Facebook, Twitter or her website.

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Photo above by Ellen Levy Finch, Wikipedia

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