I have recently had the opportunity to taste the Durian. If I were being honest to myself, I would totally scratch that first statement off, because it is not as if I never really had an opportunity presented to me to try it out. This comes from the fact that, for the past couple of months I have been in the city that sprawls with this tropical fruit. In fact, the Durian is a pride of the city!
I might go on to say that, in a way, I was avoiding tasting the Durian, because in my opinion, everything about it screamed, “GET AWAY FROM ME!” For those that do not know the Durian, let me paint a picture- the exterior of the fruit is covered with what I can safely say are thorns, or really sharp spikes. You cannot hold the fruit on its own without the stem for fear of hurting your hands. Secondly, the Durian exudes a very distinctive smell that some people might find offensive. This is not your usual ready-to-eat kind of fruit. The Durian first has to be cut open to get past the very hard exterior.
I always wondered who was the person who discovered that the Durian was edible. My over imaginative mind has a theory; Maybe one day, a long time ago, a durian fell from a tree, hit a rock and cracked open. One overly curious little child saw it and ate it. On lookers saw, but they were too far away to stop the child. So they waited to see if anything would happen to the child. Nothing happened and the child seemed to have enjoyed her/himself. Therefore, the Durian was declared edible.
Of course, that just a story I made up, but I really marvel and hold great awe and respect to whoever got the guts to try it out first. To see past the thorny exterior, past the smell and past the difficulties of getting into the fleshy fruit inside, takes a lot of guts. But the reward is a soft and amazing flesh inside. This really speaks to me in a great way because as individuals, missionaries, and pastors, there are certain people that might seem really hard to get to. Some might be pushing you away even, but with love, patience, and kindness, the true beauty of the individual is discovered.
Thinking about the United Methodist phrases, “Open hearts, Open minds, Open doors,” my first impression of the durian was the total opposite. I had totally shunned it out before I had even given it a chance. I have however come to appreciate why the Durian is dubbed ‘the king of all fruits,’ not only for how it tastes and how much nutritious value it holds, but also it reminds me of the love that Jesus has for us. Even after turning away from Him, he still opens his arms for us.
Ecosystems Work for Essential Benefits (EcoWEB), Philippines
GMF International, Class 2015