Jerry Wiles on Creative Connections to Discover Common Ground

Conversations and Connections to Communicate the Good News of Jesus and Spiritual Truth

In the mid-1980s in Washington D.C. I got to know a man who was head of a major agency of the federal government.  The friend who introduced us told me that Herb had one of the most effective ministries of anyone in the city at that time.  He led several weekly Bible studies with Pentagon officers, White House staff, media executives and other senior government officials.  He was known to have led several people to Christ, almost on a weekly basis.  One of his favorite methods of communicating the Gospel and sharing spiritual truth was to talk about strawberries.

Spiritual Symbolism of Strawberries

Historically, strawberries have symbolized spring and rebirth, as well as righteousness and love. While strawberries are a familiar fruit, there are several possible meanings attributed to them. Some have suggested that the strawberry represents rebirth, since they are the first to ripen in spring and represent good health. In some traditions, strawberries represent the good fruits of the righteous, as well as friendship and love. Even in medieval art we find the strawberry plant to be a prominent image. By the 1300s, it is common to find strawberries pictured in Italian, Flemish and German art as well as in English miniatures as a symbol of perfect righteousness.  It was believed the strawberry to be a cure for depressive illnesses, and that its presence suggests the healing powers of Christ that lead us to eternal salvation.  Its three-partitioned leaf reminds some of the Holy Trinity.  Even more remarkable, some see drops of the blood of Christ as the fruit points downward. The five petals of its white flower bring to mind His five wounds.

Food Opens Opportunities

A friend and I engaged a homeless man by the name of Columbus in conversation on the streets of Washington D.C.  Columbus was going through trash cans looking for something to eat.  We bought a hot dog and an apple from a street vender and gave them to him.  That gesture opened the opportunity to share the Gospel and pray with him.  With limited possibilities of following up, I gave him the name and contact information of a friend, Major James Hipps with the Salvation Army, and suggested he make contact with him.

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SOURCE: Assist News Service, Jerry Wiles