The Parable of the Lemon Tree

From the Gospel of St. John the Bright


And the soul of man may be likened unto a lemon tree in a vineyard.  And the lemon tree was strong and the leaves thereof were green and waxen.  But it showed signs of disease and leaf curl.  Yet the fruit thereof was rich and tart and of great promise to be sought after for lemonade. 

And in that season of much fruit there came upon the land a great cold insomuch that ice covered the ground and burst the vessels filled with water and caused much suffering to come upon the plants and even upon the lemon tree. 

For the lemon tree was not immune from the trials and temptations of the world.  Whereupon, the lemon tree lost all of its fruit and all of its leaves. 

And at the end of many days it stood bare as having nothing excepting thorns and dead branches insomuch that the wayfarers who looked upon it despised it and turned aside, for the lemon tree appeared past saving. 

And many said that it should be dug up and cast into the fire to be lost forever.

But the keeper of the vineyard kept the counsel of the Lord and looked upon the lemon tree as upon a wayward son and showed faith in the tree. 

And the keeper let it stand for a short season and then trimmed it mightily but with due care. 

And afterwards the keeper watered it and fertilized it, notwithstanding that it required much care and showed no signs of new life.  Neither did the keeper cut off all its branches and thorns, for there was yet a nest of young birds in its branches. 

And the keeper also knew that roots are not frozen and the trunk remained sound and the ground was fertile. 

And the air grew warm and after many months, there appeared a bud on an inner branch.  And it came to pass, that after a season, the lemon tree grew new branches and waxed strong. 

And in the due time of the Lord, blossoms again flowered.  And in the fullness of that season, the blossoms did grow into rich fruit. 

And once again the fruit became an important part of the vineyard, for the fruit was shared with many. 

And those who had known the struggle of the lemon tree marveled at the miracles of the Lord. 

And thus we see the wisdom of the Lord that he might not destroy his creations that they might see their own strength in the face of great stress and trial.



K.R. Allen 13 Apr 2003