I Don’t Want to Hear About Fig Trees

Then he told them a parable: “Look at the fig tree and all the trees; as soon as they sprout leaves you can see for yourselves and know that summer is already near. So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near.” – Luke 21:29-31

I don’t give a fig for fig trees, Jesus.
Tell me clearly what the future brings.

I know that changes in the wind forecast
the rain, or sun, or clouds, or stormy blast
that drowns or feeds or shields the fields,
or lays them down in wind-swept rows.

I know that rumblings deep within the ground
presage emergence of the fiery rock
that ravages the things we’ve built
and does what we cannot: make land.

And, yes, I know that human beings have a way
of signaling the things they’ll do.
I mean, sometimes they say it loud and clear
and we, somehow, will not believe.

I even know that when I dare not say myself
the compass point to which I’ll set my course,
I’m pretty sure which ways I will not go,
and that’s a good prediction where I will.

So it’s not ignorance of figs and leaves
or strength of wind or human whim:
it’s weariness, my LORD. The fig may speak;
my spirit is too tired to hear its voice.

A poem/prayer based on Luke 21:25-36, the Revised Common Lectionary Gospel Reading for Year C, First Sunday of Advent.

The image is a Byzantine icon of Jesus as in Mark 11:12–14 – http://revcrystalk.files.wordpress.com/2009/04/miraclesofthelordpa31.jpg, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=19042975.

One thought on “I Don’t Want to Hear About Fig Trees

  1. Wonderful take on this passage!! (which I ducked this year … went with Jeremiah … there’s going out on a … well, branch) However, if I had read this earlier …”

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