What is the Christian Response to Hunger? (source A Holy Experience)

 

My Dad had said we’d never see anything like it again — not in our life times. 120 combines lined up around one field — 160 acres of soybeans. A harvest of less than 12 minutes. An attempt at a world record. All crop donated to world hunger. They were calling it a harvest for hunger.

 

The Farmer and his brother. My Dad and the neighbor.

 

Farmers in their worn hats and faded wranglers and scuffed up boots, from all up and down these gravel roads. Leaving their own fields and idling in with one combine after another, CASE-IH and Gleaners and New Hollands and John Deerers, all circling the perimeter of this one field.

 

Levi stands tall, looking. “I think that one right there is Dad.” He’s on tip toe, pointing. He can pick his Dad and our combine out in this sea of John Deere Green?

 

A dying breed — that’s what my Dad had said we all are, us croppers and herdsmen. That in less than his lifetime, this country has moved from one in three living on a farm — to only one in 46. Who will still dwell in the land?

 

“There’s 63 combines at this end of the field, Mom.” Malakai points to the north, us all lined up with the combines, waiting for the wave to begin. “And 63 at the other end.” He turns towards the south. “I counted twice. Isn’t that a lot of farmers in combines, Mom? ” I smile and nod. Plain, hardworking folks out here. One in seven jobs in this nation are produced from these fields, from the humble men in pick-up trucks.

 

“You think they can really do it in less than 12 minutes, Mom?” Malakai tugs at my hand.

 

“They’re farmers, Kai.” Levi spins from the field to face his little brother, hands on his hips. As if that statement alone explains everything.

 

When they start up the combines, exhaust plumes signaling all harvesters ready, the crowd cheers.

 

Shalom looks up at me, one wide open grin.

 

Helicopters hover, cameramen dangling.

 

Then the flag  — and the farmers ride.

 

“They’re coming, Mama! They’re coming!” Shalom’s jumping happy. The air’s thick with dust, with hope.

 

I’m choked up, and it has nothing to do with the air.

 

It has to do with men and food and that the first man was a farmer. It has to do with our story coming out of soil. It has to do with tilling the earth and reaping a harvest and it’s what Goethe said, “Sowing is not as difficult as reaping.” There is ultimately no crop without unwavering commitment.

 

These men — it strikes me, rattles me like a wind through dried bean pods –  these men who turn over the earth, they revolutionize the world.

 

When a man makes a living from tending to particles of dirt, when a man does small things well –  he makes all things become great things.

 

And when a man works dirt, he cultivates a life needing patience and kneeling to Providence: you can’t drive a seed to grow and you can’t demand a sky to give.

 

There are 10,000 bushels of soybeans coming off this field in just over 10 minutes by men who labor over land and I’m rooted and moved.

 

How many starving are fed by this harvest? more…..

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