It is the season of “thanksgiving” so I stand in this field and give thanks.
Through a summer that burned and baked, tested and tormented, this ground beneath my feet nurtured seed destined to feed many. We had planted it with prayers and with promises to multiply the harvest double, if not triple, so that starving children half a world away could sleep with full tummies. Others joined us, beseeching God, maybe daring Him, to take our small offering and grow it — expand it even — beyond the expected yield.
We took their offering and bought seed, fertilizer, insecticide, herbicide, and in April between days full of rain that tried our patience we planted. Within a week, tender green shoots appeared and our crop took root as we took photographs.
But by late July, the rich, black muck that sometimes floods was crusted to a dusty brown and the rains did not return. Those who had joined us in this endeavor asked weekly about the health of the bean crop. We’d placed such hope, such expectation in the ground with each seed. Surely God would bless. How could He not join us in this, our chosen earthly endeavor designed to please and honor Him by feeding the “least of these”?
Those who could gave so that we could plant, then gave again so that we could feed more. Our collected “talents” were invested so that the return could be used to secure protein from soybeans, like those in this field. The protein would be added to rice, vitamins and flavorings then sealed in bags to be placed in the hands of the hungry. And many of us would join in that task, racing the clock to fill our quota, stacking a trailer bed with boxes destined for Haiti. With these bags of food to nourish the body would go food for the soul — God’s message of love and His promise of rescue from the pain and hunger of this world.
So we prayed. And we watched. And in the middle of the drought, deliverance came, not from the sky, but from the good heart of a neighboring farmer. With the sun beating down on his tractor, he pulled his irrigation system into our nine acres and gave it a dousing. A long, cool drink sprayed back and forth across the thirsty leaves for an entire summer afternoon, sinking deep into the soil. Green again, the plants continued to stand, roots drawing nourishment from the muck and sending it up the plant to form and fill pods. Would it be enough?
The answer came on an October morning. The farmer who planted our crop returned to roll his combine across the little plot. In a matter of hours, three months worth of prayer filled wagons that traveled the road to the mill. The scales told the story. The yield was enough — more than enough. We had obeyed, and God had provided.
So I stand in this field and give thanks. I walk its length, along the ditch, treading the stubble of this year’s crop. Then I linger and I praise Him for what He has done, so that we could do a little.