I’m a city girl, and I’m married to a city boy! And we have a little country church! I’m certain we’ve been the occasion for some snickers in our rural observations, but our folks have been overwhelmingly gracious and patient with us. I’m still not sure it was an honor for one member to tell my husband he thought he’d name his next cow after him though! I continue to get tickled when I hear a horse go clip-clopping by or a big, lane-hogging combine pass during the services. It’s a brand new atmosphere for us, and I’m not getting over it very quickly. The teacher in me is delighted with all I’m learning. (Did you know there are seven “kinds” of meat in a turtle or that otters build huts?) I love it!
But I made another observation today, one that made me do some soul-searching of my own. We pass dozens of fields on our way to church. Some fields have rows that are hard to distinguish and have numerous corn stalks growing in their soybean fields. I’ve noticed that produce is emerging in fields that didn’t look prepared for planting yet. Yet other fields we pass look almost manicured! As I remember back to last year, those are fields I had categorized as looking healthy and beautiful! I never remember seeing one corn stalk growing in those soybean fields, no weeds, no bare spots. As I compared the various types of fields this year, I realized that I was considering the farmers who plowed and planted them. I had never met them. I don’t actually know who owns each field. But I had already categorized those farmers in my mind. One farmer wandered around in my thoughts as a careless, somewhat lazy man who did not take care, for example, to thoroughly wash his equipment, thus allowing corn to grow in the wrong field. The other farmer was automatically put in the OCD category in my mind. I viewed him as very detail-oriented, thorough, and diligent. Now, as I pointed out, I am not a farmer’s wife. I could be way way off in my observations. But the fact is, the farmers’ fields are the only evidence I have in making a judgment as to their characters.
Here’s where I got introspective. I am leaving pieces of evidence as to my character everywhere I go. There are people that I will spend much time with who will come to understand various facets of my personality. But there are others who will get only the briefest glimpse. And based upon what they see, they will make a determination of my character. I am on display anywhere I go, and I am accountable for the impression I leave. As a Christian, it is of utmost importance that I remain constantly aware of the field I am displaying.
The farmers have no idea that some city gal is making evaluations of their characters as she drives by the fields. They don’t even consider that anyone notices. I may not plow a literal field, but I am plowing in other venues. People are observing my field! They walk by me in the store, sit by me at the ball game, watch me out the windows of the house next door. And they are making judgments. We all do it. So do they. The question I must ask myself is this: Do they see Christ in me? I pray they do. Harvest time will come!