You won’t find it at the top of this year’s Most Wanted Gift List. You didn’t see a lot of bally-hoo on the boob tube that caused normal-thinking adults to throw common sense out the window and go stand in line for hours in the wee hours of a cold winter Friday morning. And then trample little children and slow-moving seniors like the famous running of the bulls when they finally opened the doors.

No, it’s not the latest electronic gadget with a gazillion gigabytes of memory. And I don’t believe you can use it to send a message, or see each other’s face while you’re talking to somebody on the other side of the world. 

But there it was. In the produce department at the grocery store. All neatly wrapped in a nice basket. Tied up with a pretty bow. Under a bright florescent light. No lines. No limit. Help yourself. A gift guaranteed to turn on a mega-watt smile. Sorta like the heart smile you get when you gaze at a beautiful manger scene.

Beyond these delicious apples and oranges and grapes and bananas, though, I remembered the story of a man who once gave away a different kind of basket. His was filled with rotten fruit. Apples of anger. Tangerines of terror. Oranges of outrageous behavior. Dispensing beatings like bunches of bananas.

Until one day when a bright Light turned his basket upside down. In fact, the Light was so bright, it blinded him for three days. Plenty of time to think about the rotten fruit in his basket.

After that day on that dusty dirt road, he began to give out baskets filled with a different kind of fruit. His name was even changed. As a new man in more than just his name, Paul vowed never again to burden folks with rotten fruit; just to bless them with the sweet tasting Fruit of the Spirit:  

Galatians 5:22-23 (NKJV)

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.

Now, there’s a message that CAN be sent around the world. Without the help of the internet. One fruit basket at a time.