I’m writing two stories right now. The first publishes in October for Redbud Writers Guild. It’s about the freedom found in limitation. The second is for Joyful Life Magazine, about planting your feet deeply in the fields in which you stand. It publishes in November.
For weeks now, I’ve been journaling about what it means for us to gather up, to harvest. And as I write both stories, the words from my journal can’t help but find their way onto the pages, about how setting our sights only on a harvest of success or notoriety or growing the kid or writing the book will leave us lacking and longing when all is said and done. There is more to our purpose than what we produce, so much more than the career or carpool line or eloquent things we share with others on any platform.
Today, though, I’m thinking about the fields themselves, how they must trust the work of the one tending to them as they are considered, tilled, turned over, cultivated, planted, protected, watered…and rested.
And I can’t help but think about the people placed in our lives, for a season or for a lifetime.
“You have created a safe place for me. I can be vulnerable with you.”
I remember when those words were spoken. The world where they found their breath was marked by dirt roads and plastic sheeting doorways, meals that don’t come often enough, day labor that lasts until dark, and the hope of electricity—someday. In worlds like that, safety is a unifier, a grace-giver, a great believer in better days. Broken fragments of our souls are put back together again.
Today, I am longing for that world as I look at the world around me. A world of creature comforts in which everything still feels fragmented. And I wonder what might happen if we simply took the time to consider the field in which we stand.
There is no greater way to love than to give your life for your friends. John 15:13
First-world freedoms can turn into prisons when we forget to be safe places.
When we forget that our purpose is life lived fully and poured out liberally. When we forget that the greatest way we can serve is to be a servant, the greatest way to know love is to love well and the greatest love we can give is to lay down our lives for the people placed in our lives. To not regard ourselves but, rather, to regard them. Like a farmer, to consider them—to view carefully and thoughtfully, to regard, to bear in mind and make allowance for…
Yes, safety can be a unifier, a grace-giver, a great believer in better days. We need to be put back together, friends, no matter where our world might find us. I pray for third-world love in this first-world life. I pray to be a considerate farmer in this field in which I’m planted, to let that field gain trust that it’s hope I long to see harvested. I pray to be a safe place. I pray the same for you.