Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Strawberry Truths

Perseverance, steadfastness, faithfulness--these are areas the Lord has stressed in my life. Maybe that's why my Lord keeps bringing me back to Hebrews 11 and 12.

My deepest childhood fear was always a fear of failure, so I never tried anything new. When I was in my teens a family friend noted, "Eva doesn't have any backbone. She's spineless."

As an adult I've struggled with following through on hard things. Often I'm tempted to give up, run away or withdraw. But God is greater than my weakness.

My paraphrase from Hebrews 12:1 (TLB) is His Word to me: "Strip off anything that slows you down or holds you back, and especially those sins that wrap themselves around your feet and trip you up; and run with patience the particular race that God has set before you. Run . . . endure . . . agonize . . . persevere . . .

A memory--I'm nine years old and my brothers and I have a job picking strawberries at the neighbor's place a mile down the road then another quarter or so after the crossroads. We have to walk to get there but it doesn't matter.

At least not at first. The morning was cool and we were excited about the money we'd earn. The neighbor would pay us twenty-five cents for every carrier we picked. Except the sun shone hot and the day stretched long.

At 2 o'clock I stuffed a single dollar into my pocket and headed home. The details of that walk are still vivid. My brothers took off ahead and I plodded along alone.

A long stretch of road bordered by fields meant sunshine all the way. But a huge oak alongside the road offered a slight reprieve. After that, more sunshine, and a wooded area where sheep grazed. I fixed my eyes on the dense shade cast by those fir trees and kept on. After that, more sunshine, and then the trees along our driveway welcomed me. My knees trembled by this time, and my face felt like it was on fire. But I wasn't going to stop.

I opened the front door and looked inside. My eye caught my reflection in a mirror on an opposite wall. I couldn't tell where the red strawberry juice around my mouth ended and the sunburn on my cheeks began. But I had made it.

I stepped across the threshold. I was home, home at last.


Nina P. said...

I so enjoy your stories… Grace leads us through all of life’s trials and tribulations. Like sheep we are lead to the Light through rocky roads, green pastures and Son filled days. By following our path, we find Truth of Spirit, Strength through Light, and Love for Life. May your strawberry fields be plentiful, and may your road Home be filled with wonders beyond all imagination. Centered in the Trinity all things are possible; Faith, Hope and Love. Love and Light, Nina P.

Beth Niquette said...

Of course I love hearing these stories from your childhood. So whimsical, yet filled with wisdom and profound meanings.

((hugs)) I'm so proud of you, Mums, and I love you. I needed to read your story of the strawberries today.

Lois said...

I really enjoyed reading your story. Thanks!

~Cheryl said...

Thank you for such an inspirational Truth! As a kid, my job was to sort the strawberries -- sell the beautiful ones, make jam from the "culls". I haven't thought about lessons learned from the strawberry patch before! Gives special meaning to William Allen Butler's quote: “Doubtless God could have made a better berry (than the strawberry), but doubtless God never did.”

Grannie Annie said...

Doesn't life just deliver to us the lessons we need, and in my case over and over. The same lessons with a different face.
Eva you are not only a fast learner you are a beautiful writer, I loved walking a road of you childhood with you.

Terry said...

What a beautiful story .
It rings so true.
Thank you for sharing these beautiful words of timeless wisdom.
Blessings to you .

Catherine said...

Dear Eva, Your words are such an inspiration and encouragement. I've read this story several times and each time glean more truth from it. Your images are so vivid, bringing wisdom to life in memorable ways. I shall always remember your strawberry truths of perseverance!