There is a time for everything, and yet —
Waiting for the right time, can feel like everything is going wrong.
You can bet on it these days, every morning when we rise, I hear the Farmer’s quiet sigh. Hear the rhythm of the rain again on the roof. Hear the rain cascading again over the edge of the plugged eavestrough outside our bedroom window.
It’s been a year of historic waiting for farmers. More than 40 days of waiting — waiting for the skies to show some mercy and dam up their deluge and let the flooded fields dry enough to be a bed for seeds. 40 days of painfully waiting to begin the work that puts food on our table.
In our nearly 2 and half decades of farming here, never, ever, have we been waiting with corn seed still in hand come June. Farmers around these parts have never seen anything like it.
The sacrament of waiting can feel the hardest of all.
They say waiting is the drumming of impatient fingers, the unbearably slow watching of the face of the clock, the long sitting in front of indifferent calendars and hoping so wide your heart cracks.
Hoping can feel so much like hurt.
But, the brave and battle-weary will flat-out tell you, if you’re waiting beside a hospital bed for any kind of stirring, waiting for the word you need to finally turn off this endlessly-stretching dead-end road, waiting for change that is moving slower than old molasses frozen in the depths of December, you know waiting isn’t an uninvolved twiddling of thumbs because you have felt it:
Hope is a buoyancy — and waiting is what splits you wide open to fill with the rising waters, so everything can rise. So you can rise.
Waiting isn’t passive — waiting is passion: loving long enough to suffer.
Waiting is the patience of the long suffering of letting go. Letting go of the plan, the dream, the map, the vision. Letting the ground of things, the things that you made your ground, letting them give way.
Waiting is a letting go to let something grow.
Stacked bags of corn seed, bean seed, wait on a flat wagon in the shed, rain pounding on the shed’s tin roof like we are caught again in the days of Noah.
The Farmer stands at the front window in the early morning light, watching darker clouds move in from the west. His Bible is open on the sill, like it’s a rail shielding him from the edge of things. His early hours are all the same: our hands may seem tied, but our knees never are.
His eyes don’t leave the sky. I try not to count, not think about how the season is growing shorter every day. Frost will be here by early to mid-September. You only have so many days to grow a crop, to grow hope. And the calendar’s harshly blunt: We’ve only got four months to grow a corn crop before Jack Frost comes nipping cold the middle of some September night and all possibility stops. I try not to think how we’ve already lost 40 days waiting. It can feel like hope is running out.
His eyes don’t leave the sky. His voice is soft.
“This is not about us growing a crop — but about God growing us.”
The waiting isn’t destroying us — the waiting is growing us.
The longer the heart waits, the larger the heart expands to hold the largeness of the abundant life.
The waiting is widening us — so Hope is never running out — but more hope in Christ is running in.
I turn toward the sky and feel it:
Nothing is lost in the waiting process — because waiting is a growth process.
Waiting is the sacrament of the tender surrender, the art of a soul growing large.
And it’s true, even here:
Life has no waiting rooms — life only has labor and delivery rooms. Waiting rooms are actually birthing rooms and what feels like the contraction of our plans can be the birthing of greater purposes.
The Farmer only pulls on his tractor cap when he heads out into the rain, heads to the barn, past his waiting fields. His heads bowed low into wind and God’s ways coming down. Waiting is the sacrament of the tender surrender and this is the art of a soul growing large.
Every waiting moment is heavy with the weight of glory and this waiting midwifes a fuller life.
You find yourself at a crossroads every day — in a place of looking at the sky and wondering why? And what you need to know — is the way to abundance.
How do you find the way that lets you become what you hope to be in the midst of what is?
How do you know the way forward that lets you heal, that lets you flourish, the way that takes your brokenness — and makes wholeness?
How can you afford to take any other way?