Wasted Fruit

Jon Opgenorth

READ : Psalm 115

They have mouths, but do not speak; eyes, but do not see. (v. 5)

The kids noticed the fruit right away. In a large basin heaps of fresh produce were mounded up before the statue’s larger-than-life figure. We stood in the courtyard of the temple housing Japan’s largest Buddha—right in the heart of old-town Kamakura. Rising to 40 feet above the ground and weighing 93 tons, this hewn statue has commanded attention for over 700 years.

For seven centuries people have come to pray to this figure. They bring fresh fruit. They purchase prayer plaques. They write out wishes and hopes. Some are just plain silly, like the one that begged May Chelsea win the Champion’s League. Other plaques cried out for healing of a sick relative or mending of a broken relationship. Many expressed universal longings.

Long before this Buddha was crafted, the psalmist observed the idols of the nations around him: “They have mouths, but do not speak; eyes, but do not see. They have ears, but do not hear; noses, but do not smell.”

How different from the Eternal God, “who knows what you need before you ask him” (Matthew 6:8). And he waits for you to ask. You do not need to bring a sacrifice. He’s already given his Son. So go ahead and pray. Your Father is waiting.


Dear Father, thank you for hearing my prayer and listening to my request.