More than one way to skin an orange

By Jan Davis
Special to The PREVIEW
Billy hurried in the back door after school and plopped his backpack on the bench. His eyes focused on the kitchen table, where his mother left after-school snacks. Today, a large bowl of fruit sat in the center of the round oak table. The afternoon sun cast a beam across the fruit and beckoned him. Red, shiny apples, plump grapes and bright yellow bananas were some of his choices. He surveyed his options.
At the top of the pile rested a large orange. Billy reached for the orange and rushed outside to relish every bite. He rubbed the orange on his cheek and felt the rough texture caused by the little pitted areas. It reminded him of the acne scars on his uncle’s face.
He tried to copy his mom’s refined technique and began to peel away the top and bottom. The tangy smell tickled his nose and his mouth watered in anticipation. He forgot about perfection and began to tear the skin loose with small bites through clinched teeth.
With the rind gone, he used his short fingernails to pick off as much of the white inner layer as possible. The sticky nectar ran down his fingers and squirted in his face as his fingers dug in. It was not unusual for Billy to wind up with as much juice on his clothing as in his stomach.
He didn’t understand how some oranges were sweet and others sour. He took his first bite and a syrupy smile lit up his face with the lip-smacking flavor of today’s treat. He loved to squirt the juice into his mouth with his finger or bite a small hole in the tip and suck the juice out. He relished every yummy mouthful.
The finished orange was worth the hassle of cleanup. Billy’s mother left a garden hose hooked up at the side of the house. He washed his hands and face and, with a satisfied grin on his face, the child headed inside. The juice stains that ran down his shirt and onto his shorts guaranteed a bath would soon follow.
Billy enjoyed more than an orange that day. He appreciated the freedom of choice, practiced his orange-skinning skills and discovered the taste of success.
Because of Jesus, life is to be savored every day.
“You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours.” — Psalms 128:2 (NIV).
I love you, but Jesus loves you more.

This story was posted on April 6, 2018.