I will rise, when He calls my name, no more sorrow, no more pain.”
It’s my favorite farmer calling.
“Hey,” I answer. “Making progress?”
Yeah, finally,” he said, and I can hear relief in his words. “Pray for no more combine break-downs, OK? But yeah, doing good. Really good.”
I wanted to witness the night-harvest, I tell him, and I hope he can tell in the unspoken places how proud I am of him. This is his first harvest without his father. Scott is now the patriarch of this century-farm.
There’s another father here for the harvest: mine. A Dukes man has come to help a Lee man. In our own darkness — where the unknown lingers in shadowy places — people walk with us, like God-Reflectors shining little lights on our path.
“It’s so dark out here. How far out can you see?” I ask as the combine ambles closer, its black teeth gobbling rows.
“Not far enough,” he says and laughs. “I don’t know. Maybe 20 feet.”
“Oh, gotta go,” he says, as an alarm squawks in the background. “Grain tank’s full. Call me later, OK?”
He steers away from soybean rows to fill waiting wagons, and his harvest rushes from the auger in a golden river.
I stay to watch, and think about how so much of what we harvest happens on the cusp of darkness. We labor in Light, but a dark blanket covers the path ahead. We have only enough Light for this step, for He never lets us see too far ahead. Instead, He peels back the dark as we step forward in faith.
God promised a lamp unto our feet, and a light unto our path. He didn’t give us floodlights so that we could see what stretches ahead, nor spotlights to shine on what’s past.
It’s been a hard year, tinged with pain and death and grief and prayers that God didn’t answer the way we wanted. It could all seem so dark — except that it wasn’t. God gave us Light, even in black-rimmed days.
We were never left in the dark. Never.
The Son lit the path, and asks us to trust as we lumber forward in the Kingdom harvest.
This weekend, I attended a Celebration of Life for a dear friend — a mama of two young children, a wife, a funny and smart woman who made us better people. She lived in the light of each day, never looking too far ahead.
Her program included several sayings that she lived by, including this one: “God made the world round so we would never be able to see too far down the road.”
I like that.
I can trust Him when I’m balancing on the edge of this spinning orb,
when I’m taking a step into inky darkness,
knowing that when I get there,
The Son will shine.
“Follow me,” He says.
And I press in so close
that my forehead rests on his back —
the same back that carried
the weight of a cross
up a hill.
“Thy Word is a lamp unto our feet,
and a light unto our path.”
— Psalm 119:105
I stay with Him. Because He is Light. And in Him, there is no darkness at all.