And because of this, I rejoice.

This morning, despite my sore throat, I went to the Farmer’s Market to get our vegetables. Mike has a workshop, so I was alone. Somebody had to go, so I threw on a sweatshirt and went. And here’s the thing that struck me – our farmer knows who I am. He stopped what he was doing and asked how my week was, why I was alone today. When I told him that I am a librarian, he told me a story about how he used the library to do some history/genealogy research, and what that meant to his family. He told me that he taught middle school for one year. And he threw some extra grapes in my bag.

We switched to buying more things at the Farmer’s Market because we think it’s good for the environment not to have our food travel so far. We switched because we started thinking it was important to consider how the seasons can shape what we eat. I might have paid lip service to the idea that knowing the man who grew our food, of having a relationship with him was important. But the truth is that I have still been seeing it as a strictly business arrangement. I am not the kind of person who opens up very easily, and being recognized as a regular is, you know, good enough for me.

But buying food from the farmer is – or should be – about the relationship, too. About living in community, which is something that is not very easy for me. Mike does that very well, chatting up the neighbors, being open and friendly. I tend to keep myself to myself. If I want to eat locally because I want to be a little bit more connected to the world that is right around me, well, that probably ought to extend to the people as well as the land. It’s just taking me a little bit longer to figure that whole “people” part out. Which, I know, is making some of the right decisions for the wrong reasons. (And before I post this, I want to add – these are the right decisions for us, and I am certainly not trying to say they are the right decisions for everyone.) I don’t think that the way that I usually behave is actually what God wants from us. I don’t have to pour out my life story to people I don’t know, but there’s some middle ground between doing that and hiding behind comfortable walls.

I think that when I look back at how my life (and specifically my faith) have grown over the years, I see myself doing a lot of the right things for the wrong reasons. I do a lot of things because I think I am supposed to do them, not because I actually have a heart for them. But God can use the things we do even if we’re not doing them for the right reasons. I think that’s what Paul is talking about in the first chapter of Philippians. And it’s true in my own life. I can be convinced that we should take care of the world that God created for us and forget completely about the people I also need to care for. And yet there is redemption there, too, if I will allow God the space to move. This morning I was sweating and my brain felt like it was full of cotton and I hadn’t showered and I just wanted to go back home and lie down. But I took the time to listen to one man’s story instead, and I am glad I did.

Last year, I read a book called Easter Everywhere. It wasn’t exactly what I expected or wanted it to be. I wanted it to be about the ways we see God move every day, the ways we see that our lives have meaning and purpose. The glimpses that we get of God’s victory over sin and death. For me, learning how to take time for other people is part of seeing Easter everywhere. Even in an old National Guard Armory building on a rainy September morning.

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  1. […] Through a Glass, Darkly ยป And because of this, I rejoice. (tags: gfmorris_comment) […]

  2. […] One thing that Erin talks about in How to Sew a Button was that you can get to know your farmer if you buy straight from the farm. For a couple of years, Mike and I participated in a CSA at the farmer’s market that allowed us to choose what we wanted from one farmer’s stall. This was great for us because we don’t eat everything that might be available. Like potatoes. We never ever eat potatoes. Mostly because they aren’t really all that good for you and we don’t need all that starch. While we aren’t participating in a CSA these days, we do still feel like we have gotten to know some of the vendors at the farmer’s market a little bit. […]