I'll never forget the gasps coming from there at my feet when I read the story Johnny Finds a Magic Star in the Apple. It was a typewritten story with no pictures. However, the demonstration that accompanied the story was one that always brought on the WOWs for five year olds. I must confess I was pretty wowed the first time I experienced it as a teacher. Having never been shown the way to find this beautiful mark of our Creator, I began to look forward to opening up the flesh of a ripe apple as I also watched the eyes of little ones open in amazement. Right inside the piece of fruit, which has long been hailed as the one that brought down the human race can be found one of the intricate ways God has displayed wonder in the details of His creation.
Taking an shiny red apple in one hand and a knife in the other, I would read slowly the story of Johnny, a keen observer, and how his grandmother let him in on the secret of the magic star inside of the apple. When he asked his grandmother if he might pick an apple from her tree, she replied, “Yes, maybe you can find a star in the apple, since you are such a good observer.” Johnny checked out all the apples on the tree, large and small, and was unable to see a star on any of the apples on the tree. Then, he remembered his grandmother had said the star was “in” the apple, not “on” the apple.
Johnny was eager to cut the apple open and find the magic inside, but he was disappointed to find no star as he sliced the apple through the stem and down through the middle observing the two halves in his hands. When I also sliced my apple down through the stem to find nothing magical, the murmurs of the children let me know they were as disappointed as Johnny. I continued to read and my excitement continued to build as I knew the outcome of the story.
Johnny knew his grandmother had said there was a star inside the apple, so he began to think. He decided to go back to the tree and pick another apple. “This time I will cut the apple in half right around the middle, so as not to disturb the stem from which it dangled from the tree. As the story described, I took my own knife and sliced through the middle of my own apple, pausing for a moment before lifting the stem and top portion from off the bottom half of the apple. I could almost feel the children leaning in to try to peep inside the crack I'd made in its exterior.
Before opening the halves of my apple, I continued to read, “Johnny's eyes danced with surprise and joy!” Certainly, I found the same reaction from those seated close to me as I slowly lifted the stem and turned the fleshy part of the apple towards my class.
There before their eyes was a beautiful star, perfect in every way. On each half was a five pointed star with the seeds of life still wedged inside.
Perhaps like myself you have shared half of an apple with a friend and never seen the miracle resting inside this juicy red fruit. I'm quite sure looking back on my childhood, my apples had always been halved top to bottom. It just seemed to make sense to my mother and perhaps parents everywhere.
For many of us, life can be much like this story. We often see the external and make judgments about people or circumstances based on what makes sense to our natural eyes. If we look take a closer look, we can find the marvel and wonder and the detailed beauty of all that is around us. If we will not allow ourselves to be overwhelmed by the disappointments of life and lean in closer to see and hear the promises of our Creator, we can discover the seeds of life buried within us and even within our circumstances.
Even something that has always seemed a symbol of failure can hold the seeds for new life and the wonderful miraculous way God uses even the simple to proclaim His great wonders to us all.
I can post the story mentioned above if there are those who would like a copy. Please let me know at FB or by email if you are interested.