It is definitely mango season in Haiti. We stopped on the side of the road on the way home from the airport because Wilson knows how much I enjoy his mango smoothies. We payed 50 gourdes for 14 mangoes which is a little over $1 USD. Not a typo, they are actually that cheap!
I remember that song we sang in middle school youth group (Any of you go to EDGE with me?)
“I like bananas
I know that mangoes are sweet
I like papayas
but nothing can beat the sweet love of God”
If you were here right now you’d hear me singing it to make sure I got all the words right. Back then we practically yelled it. Believe it or not, I don’t think I had even eaten a mango or a papaya at that point. I probably couldn’t even pick them out in the produce section of the grocery store. They sounded exotic and tropical and if someone had bothered to write song lyrics about them, they probably really were quite sweet. At some point in my teens or 20’s I’m sure I tried them but I can’t specifically recall.
But then I moved to Haiti. Oh, Haitian mangoes, how sweet thou tasteth upon my tongue! Until you have had a fresh Haitian mango, I don’t think you can really sing about the sweetness of this delightful fruit. There are no utensils involved when eating these mangoes, just get it started with your teeth or maybe a fingernail and peel that skin right off. The Baptiste variety (no idea where the name came from) is probably closest to what you are used to here in boring-fruit-land, but the mangoes by our house, I don’t think you could cut them if you tried. Once the peel is down, you literally just suck the juice right out of it. It’s hard to describe just how sweet and delicious it is. The flesh is a little stringy, but you can floss later. The sweet sticky juice will be running down your chin and your fingers, but you can wash them later. Just give yourself this moment to revel in the delectable experience of eating a Haitian mango.
Now, I know that mangoes are sweet.
God is like a mango. Ok, that sounds ridiculous but hear me out. If someone bothered to write about the love of God in the Bible, it probably really is quite sweet. And you would be right to believe that. I believed mangoes were sweet because the knowledge and experience of others had told me it was so. But until I ate a mango for myself, dove in to that sweet, sticky, succulent experience, I didn’t fully understand or appreciate it. Hearing about the love of God is one thing, but experiencing it? Stopping the whirlwind of your life long enough to really understand and appreciate the sweet, deep, and unconditional love of God? You’ll keep coming back for more.
Just give yourself this moment to revel in the breathtaking experience of God’s sweet, sweet love.