Friday, July 13, 2012
One of my favorite memories of childhood on the farm was an event that took place every spring. My father would plow and then til the fields for planting. The plow dug deep and turned the earth in big long furrows. After this he would till it. This process broke up the furrows, and evened and flattened them out. When the soil was newly turned, I would take off my shoes and walk in it. It was unbelievably soft, almost like baby powder. I am as convinced now, as I was then, that there was no feeling like it on earth. It was ecstasy.
The exposure of the topsoil to the elements of this world made the soil hard. Much too hard to receive new seed, so it was very necessary, this plowing and tilling. And I find that in my own life now, I'm still reaping spiritual lessons from those memories of my life on the farm. It didn't take long for the newly turned soil to get hardened. I remember my disappointment the next morning after plowing when I would go out and take off my shoes only to be met with hardened clods of soil. Oh well. Fortunately, seasons changed, and I knew that in another year spring would come again, and I would once again experience the delight of bare feet in freshly plowed soil.
Another cherished memory from the farm was the granary. I remember as I got older I would climb up to the top floor of the granary via a ladder. It was a long narrow room housing nothing but a long conveyor down the center. windows were at the opposite end and they would fill the space with golden sunlight. I would sit in that long silent empty space and and do nothing but think. Even now I crave and cherish those kinds of spaces, naked and peaceful. I've spent countless hours in my church's sanctuary and can't seem to pass a church in Europe without stepping in the door. Maybe it is just my overactive imagination, but in those kinds of spaces it's as if all I can feel is God's kiss on my forehead - his breath on the back of my neck. And in the silence of man, I hear God sing His song.