Harvest Celebration Meditation
Wednesday, October 5, I broke my left tibia in a fall off a step ladder. I share that with any of our guests this afternoon, or anyone who has been living under a rock or in a cave. I am amazed at who knows, that on October 5, I broke my tibia. I went on facebook the other day and a friend now pastoring in Aurora, IL knew that I broke my leg. He wished me a speedy recovery.
The other evening I picked up the phone. It was a friend who was in seminary with us. I haven’t talked with him in five years. He knew I broke my leg. His mother is a member of our previous church. She tried to call their interim pastor Duly. Well Duly was with us in Tennessee. She got him in TN by mistake so guess what Duly shared with her.
Everyone I know, knows that I broke my left tibia. PAUSE The 18 days since October 5 have been consumed by Hydrocodo and Perkazet, x-rays, drawings by the doctors of my leg bones, consults with orthopedic surgeons, learning to walk with crutches. Surgery was a couple hours on another planet and staying in the hospital was a whole new experience for me. Did you know that I am narcotically naïve? I also learned that I am a “cheap date.” It has been all consuming. I sleep in a different place, take my meals in a different way, the bathroom, well I won’t bore you. Life was thoroughly rearranged I assure you. I have learned of the depth of the love of my good wife, and the love of the congregation I serve. Since October 5, life has been about my leg.
But ever so briefly in the hospital I had this thought. I wonder how this would go had it happened in Malawi or Zambia. And my very next thought was had it happened on the Africa trip our friends there would have done their very best and together by God’s grace we would have found a way.
And then I had this thought. While I have focused only on my knee, my pain, my challenge, life all over the world moved on.
This morning at 4:00 a.m., while I slept, sedated in my bed, Don Casto Mitha got up and began his visits to the villages, walking for 4 hours to care for the animals as a veterinarian. And Senor Javier checked up with folks who help to run his program. While I slept in my bed this morning, farmer Briska went to check on her crops in the field on her farm in Malawi. And director George Ntamba encouraged one of his field workers in the Chingale program in Malawi. In Zambia Sene met with farmers to talk about how the crops are doing and what could be improved, and program director Justin consulted with his field workers on how to improve the relationship with a village. PAUSE And God knows about it all.
Ken Morse in the beautiful hymn text that Loyal read for us writes:
People are they, men and women and
Children, and each has a heart
Keeping time with my own.
People are they, persons made
In God’s image, so what shall
I offer them, bread or a stone?
Each has a heart keeping time with my own. While I have gone about focusing on my leg, Don Casto, Senor Javier, Briska, Sene, and Justin all have hearts keeping time with our hearts.
Our world is set up so that we can ignore that reality. We in North America can create a bubble, and many do, that only focuses on me and my family and my world. My leg.
I’m grateful, so very grateful that God calls us to a larger view, a larger world, a larger responsibility. You see if you and I are truly the people of God, then we called by God to do justice, to love mercy and to walk with God, who walks always and forever with the poor.
Field of Hope is an act of justice in a world of hunger.
Field of Hope is an act of mercy in a world of “fend for yourself.”
To involve ourselves with “Field of Hope” is to walk with God. It is to be blessed to welcome Bolivian farmers. It is to be blessed to welcome a dear soul who heard God calling him to climb on a tractor and ride for FRB. It is to be blessed to travel to Malawi and Zambia and DesMoines where we realize once again, that we walk with sisters and brothers, created in God’s image. And each has a heart keeping time with our own.
Thanks be to God for this wonderful work.
And thanks to all of you for joining in doing what God has called us to do.