Somethin' Else

My dad made his first mistake on his career path when he was a small boy. I am not sure of his age because stories take feet and change over a half-century of telling them.

He'd come to the cotton field white for harvest. He had to be there because both my grandparents were picking. He didn’t have to work, but he wanted to. He was bored and had something to prove.

While hunched backs kept eyes focused on plucking the white fibers from their prickly cradles, the boy grabbed a sack and found his own row down the way. He picked it clean--- all the way to the end. Thus, began my dad’s resume’. My grandpa put him to work.

Last Thursday, I headed out to the country in the late afternoon. I called Dad’s cell to see if he was out of the hayfield. He wasn't---says to come down there if he’s not back at the house when we arrive.

Dad’s had my boy, his oldest grandson, on the tractor the past few days. Daddy cut and the boy scattered the hay. The boy who sat on the Deere had never pulled a tedder, coaxed the wet grass up to breathe the air to dry in the sun. They are cutting the fields early this year.

Daddy moved to the world soon after I began my adult life. His résumé had filled as I grew up. He had his failures, but he had more successes. The export of factories out of America took my Daddy with them---to Central America, to Africa, and back. 

I missed him but he was fulfilled, happy. We talked often. I knew how he spent everyday. From early in the morning to late in the evening, he worked.

He was there when his first grandchild was born three days after Christmas. He has loved his grandchildren but rarely spent time with them one-on-one.

While we are our phones, he talks to me about my son. These days in the hayfield he has come to know him.

He tells me that the blood that runs in his veins, the blood that coursed through that of his father now runs through the veins of my boy. 

“That boy will work. You only have to tell once and he is on it. When he gets a break someday he’ll do all right. That boy, he’s somethin’ else.”

I swallow hard, eyes blur wet but I don’t cry. I already knew what he told me, but hearing him say it, knowing he knows it----it feels like I am ripped open.

It’s not the painful type of heart-ripping. I feel a wide open freedom to receive this grace, free and filling.

Grace reminds me of the blood that does more than work---blood that was shed to pay for sin, blood that trumps the curse. Sinless blood was shed for blood that toils, that works the ground, bales up the thorns with the hay--- the summer provision rolled up, prepared for the dearth of winter.

I think of my Heavenly Father leaning toward his left, toward the Son, lifting his head giving a nod to the children of God.

 “Look at them, those redeemed by your blood. They are becoming just like Us. They are somethin’ else.”

We bring Him joy.

It was this joy, the joy set before Him, that Jesus came-- died for sin in our stead. The great chasm closed. The Father looks upon the sons of man, not with wrath, but with great satisfaction that the blood of Jesus covers, make us righteous before the Holy Father.

Before time began, He planned that we would be somethin’ else…”and so we are.”

See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. (I John 3:1-2 ESV)

… my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.  (I Corinthians 15:58 ESV)

They got all the hay in barn before the soaking rain. The boy added to the résumé of his experience by going to the field working with my father. He will work other fields in the weeks to come.

My field grows no cotton, nor hay, but my hand is on the plow and I won’t turn back. It is my great desire to work my field with my Father---not because I must, but because I can.

As the day draws near, the earth groans, and the sons of man wait for his appearing.

"Bring in the harvest, Lord and let’s head to the house."
Counting the graces with Ann:

-crawfish boil in the backyard
-laughter with friends under the "super moon"
-prayer with my "spiritual daughters"
-Alli headed to Rwanda, to teach, to love
-watching boys grow from babies to men
-sweet encouragement from the one who has the wisdom of years
-prayers of hope for the broken
-healthy men in the house after tick fever and strep
-thunder alarm clock


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