There’s just something about being on a farm. Waking to a rooster crow, hair tousled with bits of barn hay, and it’s like you’re taken back to the idyllic days of childhood, when nothing mattered except the next swing on the barn rope and riding around on a chestnut pony.
I used to tell people in college that my very first career dream was to be a farmer’s wife. They thought I was joking, but I wasn’t. At age five, I held a milk bottle to a suckling lamb and something in me awakened: I was created to live in communion with animals in a perfect garden.
It’s no surprise, then, that Jesus laced his parables with references to agriculture: a vineyard, a lily of the field, a mustard seed. He was speaking to olive grove owners and wheat farmers; they had lived the parables before. But for us, whose wheat comes processed, doused in sugar and packaged in cardboard boxes as cereal, we read those parables with glossy eyes, degrees removed from the original command given to Adam to cultivate the land (Gen. 2:15)
And so, I’m deciding to start a little series on farming and Jesus. Don’t get me wrong – I am not a farmer. Just to be clear, I am sitting in my grey roly-chair, typing on a laptop and nowhere near a farm. But I felt moved to explore the areas where the pages of the Bible and the soil of the earth meet.
So, if you’re ready, just take off those shoes of yours – and sit down here in the dirt beside me (it’s okay, the dirt washes off your feet) as we both learn from the greatest Teacher of all.