This week there's been a lot of transforming and preserving done at our house. First it was a triple batch of rhubarb chutney followed by a double batch of rhubarb-strawberry jam. The rest of the bountiful pickings of Rheum rhabarbarum was transformed into pies. Technically a vegetable, rhubarb is eaten as a fruit (except for the chutney which is most delicious with roast beef). Transformation and preservation turned something good into something even better.
Soon strawberries will be ready to freeze for winter. The peas are in bloom and tiny tomatoes are hanging from the plants so if the weather cooperates it looks like the pantry shelves will be filled again this summer. Next winter we will be so thankful that we took time to preserve the things that we're enjoying now.
There was a lot of other preserving going on in my life this past year. The completion of two history books, one for a Jewish family and one for our local credit union, gave me a fresh appreciation for the importance of safeguarding records of the past. While some things may best be forgotten, there is much that we need to defend. How would we remember to be on our guard against evil and diligent to uphold what is good if we haven't preserved history?
In canning, soil determines much of the outcome of gardens; in life, our roots go deep into the soil of our past. Be they good or bad, memories influence who we are and for some of us, that's not good news. How wonderful to know that we have a God whose power of transformation and preservation is even greater than our history. That power is called "grace" and it's free for the asking.
"For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all…" (Titus 2:11, NKJV)