I love tomatoes, vine ripe home grown tomatoes that is. So I decided to grow my own. We lived near Haikey Creek and the soil in our backyard was rich. I’m really not much of a gardener but how hard could it be to grow tomatoes. I bought one Big Boy plant and one Roma. I could already taste those BLT’s, salads and salsa. I make my own salsa and everybody knows the number one ingredient in salsa is the tomatoes. The better the tomatoes the better the salsa. Mmm.

I picked the best spot in the yard for optimal sunlight, worked the soil, fertilized, watered and tended those plants every day. They flourished, they were beautiful, huge, covered with blooms. I was so excited. They put on so many tomatoes I could hardly keep the vines tied up. Tons of huge tomatoes began to ripen. I babied them daily, I could just taste’em. They were getting close. One evening I went back to check, it looked like in about one more day I would be able to harvest some of the most wonderful tomatoes the world has ever seen. This is going to be great. As I was walking away I noticed one tomato lying on the ground with one bite taken out of it? Must have been a turtle from the creek.

I couldn’t wait to get home from work the next day because my tomatoes would be ready, ripe, juicy, and succulent. When I got to the Big Boy plant I was stunned. I stood there in stark disbelief. Every single tomato was gone, just gone, totally, no trace of ever having been on the vine, no scraps, no broken vines, nothing. I couldn’t believe it. I looked at the Roma plant and it had not been disturbed at all, lots of tomatoes on it, but they wouldn’t be ready till tomorrow. What in the world happened to my Big Boys? Somebody must have waited till they were ripe to steal every single tomato. I mean good grief any self-respecting thief would have the decency to leave me at least one Big Boy. I was beside myself, who would do such a thing. If I catch who did this, God help them because I can’t be responsible. Surely my actions would be considered a justifiable crime of passion or temporary insanity. All that were left were the romas. Obviously the thief only wanted the very best tomatoes, and the romas wouldn’t be fully ripe for another day or so. They would make a fabulous salsa. I planned to get them the next night.

I jumped out of the car, running straight to the backyard. (I can hardly bare to write this) the romas, my fabulous romas were gone, without a trace! The very day they ripened somebody took the best tomatoes, the Big Boys and then came back the next day when the romas were ready and took every single tomato. This is incredible, what happened, who had done such a wicked, evil, vicious deed? I had lost all my spectacular tomatoes.

There is a nugget of great wisdom contained in the Song of Solomon 2:15 that says; Hunt the foxes for us, the little foxes that spoil the vines for our vines are in blossom. (Jubilee Bible). Another translation says …. “we must catch the little foxes that destroy the vineyards.”

Celebrate Recovery does a great job helping people to hunt and catch the little foxes, the spoilers that would steal the beautiful delicious fruit from their lives. We learn to identify and rid ourselves of those things that rob us and would eventually destroy us. Otherwise we often don’t recognize what or who the thieves really are. My tomato thieves weren’t foxes at all, if so they looked strangely like raccoons.   

Good hunting,

Jim & Pam


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