Saturday, June 11, 2016

The Very Surprising Day

Just when I think I've seen it all, good and bad, and won't be surprised again, I am. Yesterday was one of those days when I had one sweet surprise after another. 

I helped in Bible school yesterday morning. It was the last day of a chaotic week. I'd helped one particular group of little boys with their crafts almost every day, but, in retrospect, I don't think I'd ever introduced myself. 

The cutest little boy came up to me and said, "Miss Leanna, will you help me?" I was stunned that he not only knew my name, but had bothered to remember it. A few hot tears stung my eyes. I blinked them back and bent down to look at his work.

He knew my name. It always touches my heart when people know me, but the One that stuns me most is that God knows my name. He was intimately acquainted with me before I was born, and still is. 

He knows me, inside out.

Later that afternoon, Sam and I went to the lake to feed the fish. Remember the bread that filled my car recently? We took two loaves of bread with us and, one slice at a time, wadded the bread into balls and threw it into the water. Since Sam can't see well, he made a rule that I had to throw my bread between two particular clumps of grass. That's so he can see the fish when they come up to eat the bread.

I'm not an accurate thrower, so my bread went everywhere. Occasionally, though, I could get my bread-wad where he wanted it. A particularly large wad, thrown in just the right place, attracted the big catfish that lurked nearby. He jumped part-way out of the water, grabbed the bread, and made a little twist. We could see his shiny white belly. The big splash made Sam laugh.

I was, once again, surprised by the joy he finds in the simplest of things. When I grow up, I hope I have that same sense of joy and wonder.

We were almost through feeding when my phone rang. It was The Hired Hand.

"Hey, y'all come on up to the barn. I'm taking Sam for a hayride."

We'd talked about the hayride in general terms, but I hadn't expected it yesterday. Sam was thrilled. The Hired Hand and His Son had everything arranged. There were bales of hay on the trailer and a traveling rug over the hay. A rope was attached from front to back so we could hang on in case it got bumpy, which was a good thing.

If you had seen Sam's face, you'd have wept with joy for him. He hadn't been to the back of the farm since he broke his hip several years ago. 

It was the thing he most wanted in the world. The Hired Hand knew that, so he made it happen. 

Sam reminisced about his early days on the farm, told stories that made us both laugh, and made a plan about picking blackberries that was so fanciful we laughed again. He talked about his deceased wife's blackberry pie and, for the first time, there was more peace than sorrow. 

Nothing that happened was "big" by the world's standards but, by my standards, it was all precious. The sweetest of all was the look on Sam's face as he rode through the land he'd helped to clear.

"I could ride through here on the tractor and think through everything. It was the most peaceful place in the world. I loved it here."

The Hired Hand turned back from the tractor. "I do that, Sam. I love it, too."

Old man and younger, joined by faith and friendship and love of the land. It was the way we're meant to live, and the beauty of it surprised me all over again. 

As we drove across the land, I realized that, to Sam, that hayride was evidence that our Lord knows his name, too. Yesterday, with the Hired Hand and His Son's help, He gave Sam the desires of his heart.

When God created us, I believe He intended to make people like Sam. Kind. Loving. Generous. People who loved and protected the land and all His creatures. It's a simple life but, if you ask Sam, it's the best life of all.

Love God. Live simply. Take Joy in it all. 

That's Sam's motto, and it's a good one to have. 

"Trust in the Lord, and do good; 
Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.
Delight yourself in the Lord, 
and He will give you the desires of your heart." 
Psalm 37:3,4 nasb

In case you missed it, here's the link for yesterday's post: Over in an Instant
#disciple #surprisingday #SamWiley #linesfromleanna