No Berry Picking Allowed

Are people superstitious where you live ?

We learned when we moved here, that many rural Newfoundlanders are intensely superstitious.

This explains why people are rarely seen visiting cemeteries, most of which are poorly maintained. Many are adjacent to small wooden churches.

There was great excitement when, two Augusts ago, Mrs. Butler reported seeing lots of people in the cemetery , in a neighbouring village !

She did her duty and reported the suspicious activity to the Chair of the Parish Council, who promised to investigate.

In August, blueberries ripen throughout our rugged island, and people delight in picking and enjoying these highly nutritious berries.

Alas, some bountiful blueberries were discovered growing at the back of the cemetery, and now many people were coming to pick them.

This could not be !

A hasty meeting was called of all the parishioners, and it was unanimously decided that a fundraiser would be held to construct a fence around the cemetery to keep people out.

Yesterday, since blueberries are ripe now, we drove over to the little church yard to check it out .

Sure enough, a huge and expensive steel fence was constructed around the yard.

This was no ordinary wooden picket fence. This fence meant business. A sign was prominently posted : NO BERRY PICKING ALLOWED.

We noticed that the old church was peeling paint, and several sections were showing signs of wood rot.

What would Jesus say ?

We are told in the Bible that lives lived in Christ will produce spiritual fruit.(Galatians 5: 22-23).

May the Lord, in His mercy, allow us to remain close to Him, so that our lives will bear the spiritual fruits of love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

Pixabay photo.

41 thoughts on “No Berry Picking Allowed

    1. So very, very true !
      When we moved here, we became volunteer caretakers of the cemetery and hired workers to create a beautiful park-like setting for the honour of the faithful departed.

      We even placed two granite benches, so people could come in, and think about eternity.

      Alas, our efforts were not well received.
      Thanks for your comment. 🌼🤗🌷

      Liked by 2 people

  1. So sad. The church could have uprooted the berries at much less expense. Yet, how much better to make a garden path and invite people to pick the berries in the Name of Jesus? Post signs with scriptures about growth, life, trees and God’s care for the environment. So many possibilities, such a closed door. 😪

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Thanks Sally, for pointing out yet another sad misplacement of priorities within some segments of Christianity, in this case an extreme misplacement. This could have been handled in any number of better ways. Visiting cemeteries to respectfully honor the memory of those who have passed and even meeting in them was practiced by the first Christians, which honor includes proper attention and maintenance of grave sites, but there is no such teaching in the New Covenant Scriptures regarding praying for the dead (See Matthew 22:32, Mark 12:27, Luke 20:38). Prayers are for the benefit of the living.

    Blessings to you

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, RJ. This was indeed a sad misplacement of priorities. 🤗🌷🌼

      A few years ago there was a large sign outside another of the Parish churches, which said : NO TRESSPASSING.
      I called the priest to tell him that this was not a good way to evangelize !

      He said that the sign had been placed because snowmobilers were coming close to church property. I suggested that the church might offer an outreach to the people on snowmobiles, telling them of the love of Christ.

      He did not agree with my point of view, but thankfully, he took down the sign. 🤗🌷🌼

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Laughed out loud at your call to the priest. Great work! Your heart was exactly where it should have been. How easy it is, apparently, when some in leadership forget why we are here in order to respect property or whatnot. Imagine if the sign was a positive Gospel message or a Scripture verse or a simple Jesus Loves You. It reminds me of that old song entitled “Signs.” This is the last verse:

    And the sign said, “Everybody welcome. Come in, kneel down and pray”
    But when they passed around the plate at the end of it all, I didn’t have a penny to pay
    So I got me a pen and a paper and I made up my own little sign
    I said, “Thank you, Lord, for thinkin’ ‘bout me. I’m alive and doin’ fine.” © 1970 Les Emmerson

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Let them eat blueberries! I love the practice around here to plant fruit trees for the homeless in the parks. Everyone is free to pick and eat. We should be generous wiyh what God provides us. Superstituons be damned. But that is jusy my syrong, humble opinion. Lol😃❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Tonya ! I agree with you about superstitions – they are just another type of spiritual bondage.
      What a great idea to plant fruit trees. We have lots of hungry folks around here, and when I saw the fence, and the sign, I felt sad, and disappointed. 🤗🌷


      1. Yes. I am sure you did. How frustrating. Superstitions are for those with no faith or spiritual education, should never be for anyone in the church. Fruit trees are an easy way to help our neighbors.😃❤

        Liked by 1 person

  5. A very sad reflection on religious types, our modern day Pharisees who put worldly constraints on the love of God. It reminds me in particular of the Pharisees disapproval of the disciples plucking ears of corn, except it is berries in your story. Thank you for sharing this Sally, may you be blessed in Him sister.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. You would think the church would be okay with people picking the berries because Jesus was all about feeding the hungry (among other things). It sounds like they missed out on an opportunity. If instead of putting up a fence and a sign, maybe if they had reached out to the people who were picking berries, they would have helped with some paint for the church and other small repairs in exchange for the produce.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly, Rachel. I agree with your astute observations. They for sure missed out on an opportunity. Jesus always asks us to feed the hungry.

      I did write to the priest and shared these observations with him. Thanks so much. 🤗🌼

      Liked by 1 person

    1. My feelings exactly, Mandy. I wrote to the church to express my disappointment.
      May God give us the grace to continue to feed others, both physically and spiritually. 🤗🌼

      Liked by 1 person

  7. This was not my experience, at least it was not growing up in our particular part of rural Newfoundland. We often visited the cemetery where my younger sisters and a brother were buried. Dad would take a stroll around the graveyard reading names on tombstones and telling us stories about the person whose remains were interred at each one. I don’t remember any berries growing there but I’m pretty sure if there were any people would be welcome to pick them. Perhaps it depends on the community? Just wondering. I do not doubt your story at all, just pointing out my own experience does not match.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am very glad that this was not your experience growing up in rural NL, Carol.
      It may be, as you say, that attitudes are different in each community.
      Thanks for your comment. 🌼🌷

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I was quite intrigued by this post, Sally. As a long distance runner, everyday I’ll eat a half a cupful of blueberries in my smoothies. They provide vitality and life, which is quite the contrast from a cemetery. On a piece of land which is the final resting place of those no longer alive, it is quite beautiful to have blueberries in the cemetery. Sad to see this is the route the congregation took. As you mentioned in Galatians 5:22-23 there are precious spiritual lessons.
    In Ontario, there isn’t quite the superstitions. It is becoming more common for some cemeteries to install park benches in the cemeteries, which is an invitation for people to spend time, if you are tired to have a break on the bench. In the cemetery in my village there is a water tap so people are able to water their flowers on the graves. It is right in the middle of my regular run. And I’ll slip into the cemetery to refill my hydration system. I often think of the story of the woman at the well as I refill my water in a cemetery, ““Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life”. 😀🙏

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Wow, thanks so much for sharing. Excellent that you are a long distance runner.
      We also eat many blueberries, they’re so nutritious.

      We are also from Ontario, and when we came here, we also tried to change the cultural thinking, to encourage people to see cemeteries as quiet places to spend time, and to reflect.

      But even within Canada, cultures can be very different, and as a newcomer to NL, we’ve learned to adapt ourselves to the unique culture here.
      Peace and blessings to you. 🤗🌼

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You are welcome, Sally. I actually sat on a bench in a local cemetery last Saturday.

        Well done for adapting to the culture in Newfoundland. So important in order to find acceptance by the local people! Blessings! 🤗

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Very strange behaviour. The words I require mercy over sacrifice comes to mind. Thanks for sharing 💐

    In the U.K. the park is full of fruits for all to eat and the only thing is you don’t sell it or break the branches but give it some love and care and I was picking some berries on Saturday. 🤗
    Very strange.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, for sharing, Hannah.
      So great that the park in the U.K. is full of fruits for all to eat. This would please the Lord.
      ‘Taste and see that the Lord is good’. 🤗🌷


  10. I think this is what Jesus would say (or has already said in the OT): “‘When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Leave them for the poor and for the foreigner residing among you. I am the Lord your God.’” – Leviticus 23:22

    Liked by 1 person

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