Picking Cherries in Door County


An article about cherry orchards in The Country Today weekly paper reminded me of two special memories.  I may have written of these previously.

While camping with our six-person family in our four persons pop up camper I walked along the shoreline skipping rocks.  I picked up a perfect skipping stone.   Before I flung bouncing off the water, I noticed that through millennia of ancient glaciers, yearly ice covers and sloshing waves a raised crucifix had developed on the surface.  I have used that stone countless times as an object lesson.  Right now, its lying on the desk in front of me.

Before we headed home to Marshfield, we looked for a cherry orchard to pick a supply of fruit. After climbing into the trees and picking our containers full, we met the propriety, a woman, perhaps about 50 years of age.  She asked, “Are you a Missouri Synod pastor?”  What?  Was it tattooed on my forehead like a mark from Revelation?  She said, “I saw your ring. I have a son studying at the seminary.”

My ring with the XP (Chr) inlaid was given to me by my home congregation when I was ordained in 1967.  I’m wearing it right now.  The XP together form not only a cross, but a manger and a Christ the King form.  People have noticed it often over the last 51 years, mostly by gas station attendants.  Now one leg of X is missing, but it still tells the story of Jesus, birth. Death and resurrection.   Scripture does say something like, “Be ready with an answer for the hope that is in you” and on your finger.

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