Orange temptressPopular mythology—-not the bible—-popularized the notion that the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden was an apple. Yep, ol’ Adam took a bite of the apple and got kicked out of Eden as a result.

But who decided the Tree of Life in Genesis bore apples? When I regard this picture of my girl Sarah picking oranges in our friend’s orchard last Thanksgiving holidays, I find it entirely plausible that the forbidden fruit was an orange! Look how the laden tree is sensuous, enticing with its verdant foliage, punctuated with the orbed brilliance of the fruit! Is that orange tree less fit as a Tree of Life than an apple tree? Hardly!

And if the fruit isn’t enticing enough, how about the pose, that canaille, flirtatious expression that Madame Sarah casts my way as I hold the camera? Could Eve have regarded Adam with any less cunning as she bade Adam to taste the forbidden fruit? Surely not!

I confess that I did eat of the fruit of that tree . . . or more precisely drank of it, because we juiced the oranges. But we didn’t get kicked out of the orchard—-in fact, my friend the farmer invited us back during the Christmas holidays—-and the condition of man has fallen no lower than the deplorable depths to which it had already sunk before we went there. We are blessed in that we surely did enjoy the orange juice and no harm came to us or the world around us in the aftermath.

In a theological sense, I suppose Adam’s and Eve’s treachery was sufficient to doom posterity without additional exertion on my part, so may we eat and drink merrily the fruit of the orange as we reflect gratefully on grace that sustains us in the brokenness of disease, catastrophe, and strife.

Ah, grace? Yeah, that’s what that orange juice tasted like. Oranges of grace!