Friday, May 23, 2008


She stoops, shuffling through the remains of what, just a few hours before, had been a field of golden-crowned green. Her back bent with toil and age, she retrieves the missed stalks one, maybe two at a time. Her worn hands tell the story of her life: work, hard and long. The end of her sari is drawn over her head, shading her from sun and scorn. Over and over she bends to add a few more grains of rice to the family pot.

When you reap the harvest of your land, moreover, you shall not reap to the very corners of your field nor gather the gleaning of your harvest; you are to leave them for the needy and the alien. I am the LORD your God. Leviticus 23:22

. . . not so in this place where each bundle is carefully cut, wrapped, and counted. Very little is left for the poor, and so many are so poor. And each must earn her keep.

She struggles on, moving from field to field, finding only a few bits left over. Hopeless.

Is this how I approach you, LORD? Tiredly following behind, occasionally gleaning a bit of hope or truth or life?

Do I not realize this truth:
The believer is a favoured gleaner, for he may take home a whole sheaf, if he likes: he may bear away all that he can possibly carry, for all things are freely given him of the Lord. --Charles Spurgeon

I settle for so little. Yet He has said that everything we need is available to us!

Oh, LORD, you have given so much, yet I notice so little. You have provided thoroughly, yet I seem to prefer the scant pickings I happen to find. Help me to embrace my position as a favoured gleaner, that you may receive more glory!

Art: detail of The Gleaners by Millet

Saturday, May 17, 2008

always giving . . .

29. The smell of rain.

30. Fresh pasta, ready for dinner.

31. Lychees!

Friday, May 16, 2008

continuing on . . .

24. Our restful Friday Sabbaths in our "other home country."

25. The momentary flash of pink in the early dusk clouds - relieving the mundane-ness of washing dishes.

26. An amazing sunrise today, noticed by The Scholar alone; perhaps painted by God's hand for this child alone.

27. The helpful spirit in Wonder Boy as he crouches and crowds to help Daddy install some new shelves.

28. Six small hands eager to help with some painting.

It's all about Him . . .

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Quote for today . . .

Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.

C. S. Lewis

From The Quotations Page.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

His endless gifts . . .

20. Freedom to study history - so that we never forget the mistakes of the past.

21. Freedom to worship - may we NEVER take it for granted.

22. The excitement of a child as he learns something new.

23. Books

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

After the Storm

After the storm I wrote about last, we were out driving to visit a friend/co-worker. It is actually fairly unusual for us to drive anywhere, so I was glad for the chance to see the damage. I was relieved to see that while some fields were damaged, they were for the most part ones that were ready to harvest. So while the plants are laying down, it will not be much extra work for those that hand-cut the stalks.

Praise God!

Thursday, May 1, 2008


A quiet evening. Children tucked into beds, adults sharing a game and quiet laughter around the table. But it was coming. The wind. The rain. Hints of it had lingered in the heavy air all afternoon. My shirt soaked from the heat of the kitchen as I made pizzas for them all, I wished for relief. A breeze. Rain.

But not like this. Not a storm where the rain is blown across rather than down. My comfort is nothing compared to the trauma that this storm will cause.

All around us, the rice paddies stand full and green. Each plant with its head bowed low, heavy with full grains. But not yet ripe; not yet ready for the hands that will cut each stalk, one by one. The storm season has been gentle this year. But this storm, in this place, will cause untold suffering. Delicate fields will be flattened under the weight of their still-green food and the force of the assault. The heads will have no chance to ripen once their stalks have been broken.

Already, our neighbors are suffering. Their staple provisions cost more than they can pay. So many are starving, some quickly, most slowly: the slow death of perpetual hunger.

I whisper, Lord, have mercy on these who don't even yet know you. Spare their fields. Give them another day, month, year to hear your Name.

Tonight, all is dark and quiet. The storm has passed, moved southward on its destructive path. Only the light of day will show the result. Thousands will wake early and survey their future.
Let the rice stand, Lord - and stand in the gap for those whose food has fallen.


16. The Scholar's comment: "I'm going to see if I'm needed in the kitchen."

17. BEAUTIFUL roses from dh. Just because.

18. Laughter over kitten's cherry-tomato soccer game.

19. Grandparents.