Today was a great day for apple picking. It was a cool, crisp 50 something degrees and lots of people were off because of Columbus Day. We headed out east, on the North Fork, which took almost an hour. It feels like another world out there in the country. There is a one lane road into town and the traffic is always backed up. We started by visiting an apple orchard. The trees are low enough for the kids to pick the apples. We found Rome, Red Delicious and some yellow ones which I am not sure what variety they are. The kids had a ball and enjoyed climbing the trees and looking for unblemished apples. It is amazing how many apples are just laying on the ground under the trees, bruised or imperfect in some way. As you walk, you have to step over all of the apples and kick them aside. I can't help but think of how we are like those apples; imperfect, blemished, and even tossed aside. I don't know what they do with all of those apples. Some say they use them to make apple cider. I don't know if that is so or not. I am filled with gratitude though that as imperfect as we are, God loves us anyway. Unconditionally, just as we are, sin and all. God sent His Son to die for us, not because we are all perfect on the outside and inside. He loved us before the foundations of the world. He loves us and doesn't kick us aside, as imperfect as we are. He takes our hearts of stone and gives us a heart of flesh. Praise God that He takes us just like those bruised, broken apples and makes us whole.