Life Lessons from a Coconut Custodian

by Carl, the Coconut Custodian

It might be nutty… but hear me out. During my brief time at CABC, I have had the opportunity to observe how people interact around here and we’re not as different as you might think.

Coconuts are known for being a bit hard on their exterior…a bit rough around the edges…designed, purposefully, to keep people out. If, in a moment of weakness, you have ever tried to crack into one of us, you will find that it takes a bit of work. We don’t open up without a fight. And, if we do open up, it may get a bit messy.
I have found some people are like that too. They may have an outside that tends to keep people at a distance. People may look hard on the outside. From the outside, some people may not look worth the effort.
True, it may take some work to get to know them. But outer appearances don’t tell the whole story. It reminds me of something Samuel once said, that “man looks at the outer appearance.” Now, I know he was talking about a good, strong-looking outer appearance but the same can be true about a gruff outer appearance…or a “fine” outer appearance. “I’m fine, you’re fine, she’s fine, we’re all fine!” A “fine” exterior can just as easily hide a broken and searching heart as a strong or gruff exterior. You see, our gaze doesn’t always penetrate the way God’s does. Samuel went on to say that “the Lord looks at the heart.” What we show to the world isn’t all there is to us.
That brings me to the second point. You know what else is true about coconuts? Under that rough, hard exterior lies a sweet core. Like the sweetness inside each coconut, every person in the whole world is made in the image of God. What’s more, every Christian carries the spark of the Holy Spirit in them. To love others is to love God. Jesus says that loving each other is the way that the world will know that we are His disciples.
A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. (John 12:34-35)
So the next time you run into someone who is difficult to love, remember your good friend, Carl the Coconut Custodian. We are all worth the effort to love. In fact, the Master commands it.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. (Matthew 22:37-39)
I don’t know about you…but I think the best way to honor Christ’s sacrifice at Easter is to do our best to live like Him…to love others in such a way that they don’t see us but see Christ within us.
If anyone says, ‘I know Him,’ but does not keep His commandments, he is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But if anyone keeps His word, the love of God has been truly perfected in Him. By this we know that we are in Him: Whoever claims to abide in Him must walk as Jesus walked. (1 John 2:4-6)

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