Appleanche - (ap-uh-lanch) - n. - a massive cascade of apples falling rapidly to the floor of the produce department, the result of plucking one or more apples from the pile.
If it hasn’t happened to you, there is a good chance that you have seen it happen.
I was examining the blush-toned collection of Fuji apples in the grocery store, admiring them in all of their autumn-ness. The only way to apple shop is to pick one up, check it for worm holes and bruises, and then discard it, even if you don’t see any real problems with it. You just have to know if the other ones somehow look better than your first choice. Keep your options open. Pick up another, discard. Pick up another, discard. (This is why we wash our produce. Carefully.)
Locking my eyes on one especially delectable specimen, knowing it was destined to be mine, I seized it. Which set off a disastrous chain of events. The removal of that specimen dislodged its Fuji neighbors, who began to plunge to the ground in protest, kamikaze-style. One, two, three…and then…lots.
I watched in slow motion.
Oooohhhh noooooo. What have I done? It’s too late. Too late. Too late. There is no stopping gravity.
I watched as the apples rolled and rolled and rolled, all the way to the feet of other produce department shoppers, who graciously helped me pick them up in my embarrassment.
How many times have I believed that I was plucking one thing (because surely one thing won’t hurt), only to wind up with a big old mess at my feet? Didn’t Eve believe that in the Garden? Just one Fuji. It’s not going to matter. It’s not going to bring down the whole mountain of apples. The whole mountain of humanity. No way!
But it did.
In fact, that was the appleanche that started it all. A cascading mess of original sin that has rolled and rolled and rolled throughout the generations…all the way to my own pair of feet that step in it far too often. Countless apples littering the ground, littering the whole earth.
Oooohhhh nooooo. What have we done? We didn’t mean for it to happen. We are ashamed of the mess we’ve made of things. Like a shiny apple that has hit the ground at a stunning velocity, broken humanity sees itself as bruised and sullied inventory.
That is what we are.
Until we find ourselves at the feet of Jesus. Jesus, who does not discard us with disdain, but rather, picks us up with care, healing our bruises and damaged places and setting us right where we belong. Jesus, whose love covers over a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8), whose love covers our embarrassment, whose love chooses to forget our past appleanches (Hebrews 10:17). He is the One who fixes the mess. The only One who can clean it up.
It is the time to fall…on His grace.