where love comes from

‘Each wheat head is full this year —- large. Like that year when you were in France.”

He pulls out a long, slender stalk — shows me the wheat kernels filled out right to the end.

France?

The wheat, out past the barn and to the north, it sways in mid-summer’s wind. Heads bowed, the fields sing like a hymn.

We’ll roll in the combine today, let the streams of wheat run.

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Our wheat harvest begins and he remembers me telling him about wheat in France?

Three years ago now, how I had stepped out of St. Sulpice, out of the dome, out onto the street, out of the strains of the organ pipes that stretched up to heights and streams of light.

How I had walked up towards Jardin du Luxembourg in the twilight. How I had found it right there on the sidewalk —- a full, bowed sheaf of wheat, laying there up against a maple tree.

I’d stopped. Had looked up and down an empty side street at suppertime in summertime. A bundle of wheat, gold and ripe and there in the middle of the city —- in the middle of Paris, in the shadow of a cathedral?

Really? Some farmer had walked the streets of France’s metropolitan with heavy heads of wheat under his arm?

Where had he come from and where was he going and why had he bent down and left this bouquet of wheat stalks on the sidewalk just down the street from St. Sulpice?

Or was it —

Had Someone known that a homesick farm girl with a pining heart in the heart of the city would need wheat — the memory of the wide open gold fields, of Home, of the promise that He never leaves or forsakes?

Strange —- how love always leaves a trail.

I had knelt right there on the sidewalk of Rue Ferou, the cathedral shadow falling long along the street, across my hands.

I pluck two heads of wheat and I walk on to Jardin du Luxembourg with two heads of wheat in my pocket.

Far from our own wheat fields, far across the ocean, far away in Paris, I carry wheat in my pocket and shake my head at the wild grace of it all, and I tell Christ about it and I am home.

 

I fly home to the farm with those two heads of wheat in my pocket.

I lay those two heads of wheat on my prayer bench — two heads of wheat, one curved into the other, found in the center of a city in front of a cathedral — two wheat heads whispering, “Communion — wherever you are.

Three years later, two heads of wheat from far away, still giving testament here, “Communion with Christ, the continual conversation of the heart, wherever you are, this is what makes the heart love.”

Love can only be what communion is — a pouring out, a breaking open and a passing around, a sacrifice.

And if love is what makes itself into a roof around a heart to absorbs all the storms, love is the only real dwelling place, and communion with another is all we have to offer and it’s all we have to crawl up under. When I don’t live love, others live homeless. When I don’t love like Christ, I evict souls.

Christ is love embodied and no matter where we are, He and His body are Home.

What else would God have?

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Wheat harvest 2011, it runs heavy.

The boys run hard.

A family works together.

I watch the Farmer’s hands on a steering wheel, how he turns.

How he’s lived a whole season under the sky, relying on, communing with God.

How sacrifice is communion, how a heart can be a roof…

How love makes these days large kernels, filled out right to the very end.
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… The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.

~Galatians 5:6

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