Farmers are my heroes. The fruit of their labor brings me great joy. The faith of their labor encourages me.
An hour before dinner tonight I got in my car and drove a few miles down the road to a farmer’s home to buy some of his sweet corn. I followed the simple signs he placed at country intersections. The signs led me down roads protected by 8 foot stalks of corn. As I drove into his driveway, three other hungry shoppers joined me.
His corn was 25 cents per ear or $3 a dozen. Since there were just three of us for dinner, I purchased 4 ears of corn. It was the best food bargain to be found anywhere. It was spectacular sweet corn. Along with Jackie Gleason, I said, “How sweet it is!”
This season’s peaches, blueberries, and cherries have been incredibly delicious. I do not remember a better year for peaches. For an old southern boy this is a mighty big claim.
While we have enjoyed the sweet nectar of corn, peaches, blueberries, and cherries this year. I cannot say the same for the strawberries and tomatoes which have passed from my plate to my palate. It may still be too early to pass final judgement on this year’s tomatoes.
Farmers never know in the spring what the fruit of their labor is going to taste like at harvest. So much of their success is out of their hands.
They need sun and rain, heat and cold, all arriving in a grand and perfect mixture through the growing season. All the farmer can do is go to the bank, borrow a ton of cash to buy seed, fertilizer, and weed repellant. Then over the course of a weeks and months he plants, feeds, and weeds, hoping everything comes together just right.
Farmers are men and women of incredible faith in God’s provision. If the weather does not cooperate their harvest can be lost. Unfortunately, too much of any weather, especially at the wrong time, can destroy a crop.
I’d go nuts with worry if I was a farmer. This summer when we had our 3-4 week heat wave, I couldn’t sleep at night worrying about whether my grass and plants would survive. Unlike the farmer, these gifts of God are not my cash crop, yet I almost lost my fingernails with anxiety.
I cannot image how a farmer feels when it’s too hot, too dry, too wet, too cold, too buggy, too windy, too anything. This is why farmers are my super-heroes. To me they are greater than Captain America, Popeye, Superman, Batman, and Harry Potter, all rolled into one.
Farmers are my heroes because instead of talking about faith, they live it!
Next time you see a farmer, offer him or her a simple, “Thank you!” for being men and women of faith.
The fruit of their labor is the harvest of their faith.