Day’s last light dropped below unharvested Iowa fields, and we dimmed the house to light the HOPE candle. The girls sat cross-legged on the floor, hunched over their own lined pages.
They’ve watched their Mama, with pen and prayer journal, and they asked one day: Could we have our own journals, too?
Ninety-nine cents later, these spiral-bound books for two little girls bring a good return for the money.
I pull wee journals from the gathering basket in the corner of a candle-lit room, and hand them out to little prayer warriors who aren’t even four-feet-tall. They set sharpened pencils and determined hearts to Kingdom Work.
Tiny warriors tend quietly to these pages beside this Mama, who has heard God’s persistent reminder this week: be still. Slow down. Trust.
It’s more than halfway through October, and not a single plant has been sheared from the fields. But God — the hope in the seed — has been persistent on this soggy farm: Be still, for I am God.
With left hands gripping pencils — just like their Mommy and Daddy write — the girls begin. Anna transcribes a series of letters that she sees on an engraved cross beside me. She doesn’t know what she’s recording. For she can’t yet read.
I don’t see what she’s done until she’s almost finished with the writing.
“What’s it say, Mommy?” she asks, then adds a smiley-face for effect. “Did I do it right?”
“Yes, Anna, you did it perfectly,” I tell her, and I snap a photo so I won’t forget what He won’t let me forget: Be still.
Some people call these things coincidences. We know them as “God-incidences.” These are the moments when God repeats the message to stubborn or weary hearts. (Author Margaret Feinberg calls it the sacred echo.)
“God’s been telling me to be still, Anna — to stop and listen,” I tell her.
Our favorite farmer sees what this wee warrior has done, and he shoots a knowing smile my way.
“Anna,” her Daddy asks, “Can you make another copy?” He wants to keep one on the dash of the pickup truck. Snow and rain have kept Scott from his fields. This is the first harvest without his farmer-father, who died in January. Scott knows he needs to be still, for he hears God’s sacred echo, too.
By candlelight, he read the echo in the clumsy script of a five-year-old.
But the echo wasn’t finished. Lydia had written a prayer, too.
Please get the crops to get out of the field so …
send a mighty wind and a HUGE sun and get the crops in the tractor. Thank u for the AWESOME day. And thanks for dying on the cross.
We closed our journals and placed them in the basket. Anna blew out the candle, and we tucked the girls into quilted cocoons. As harvest moon rose over an echoing stillness, this farmer and I curled next to one another — trusting and waiting.
Seven hours later, mercies rose with the morning. We heard the echo in the weatherman’s words on the clock-radio alarm.
I shook my husband’s shoulder. Listen, I whispered. Did you hear it?Highs will hit the 60s this afternoon, and winds are expected to reach up to 25 miles an hour today.
God’s echo boomed like an exclamation point on a promise: Skies will be sunny throughout the day, the weatherman said.
God had sent Lydia’s HUGE sun and a mighty wind to dry soggy fields.
It’s Monday morning. My own father — Phil — is on his way here as I write. He’s driving 100 miles to come and help his son-in-law tend the fields.
Scott is outside, readying the combine.
And we slow
to lift voices of thanksgiving
to the God who keeps
“At the proper time
you will reap a harvest.”
Today, we harvest.