*Originally penned 11/2016
"A value of a life is always measured in terms of how much of it was given away!"
Our before school ritual exists because more than one time one generous Colquitt County farmer would reach his wrinkled, spotted, work-worn hands across his chair in his living room and pat mine. "How's speech school? You are doing a good thing. You will be used! " Then he would slip me a $20. Lavishing words of affirmation, he planted seeds of life.
I can also recall sitting round the holiday dinner table at the Presbyterian mans. The Farmer invited to be part of our family. His presence brought warmth, peace, and sparkle of eye. Out of preacher daddy’s sight, he would slip us girls some money to help our poor college student budgets. Now because of him, every morning I "hall" in those seeds of encouragement as I cup cherub faces in hands before Viking buses arrive. I declare over their lives:
"Do your best because God is going to use you to do mighty things !"
John Davis gives an eye roll and exclaims in a deep baritone voice, "Ok! I Got to go! "
Joy sighs in frustration, "Mom! You say THAT EVERY morning , I know, I KNOW!"
After my marine , pastor daddy blessed a life, held hands and hearts, and lowered The Farmer into the Georgia red clay he tilled, he continued to live on in us . Lives on in me. Now The Farmer's son's impressionist paintings deck our "halls" and sanctuary. The Farmer’s grandsons pass on those seeds of life to us in their own creative mass media way. See, his grandsons have gone on to write and produce movies that have greatly impacted our haven. Flywheel, Facing the Giants, Courageous, War Room….
Who knew? Who knew all those years ago, their gifts would help my family so much. Help us through every phase of grief and many uncertainties! They have taught my fatherless son to be a courageous man, to know that circumstances don't have to dictate your destiny ; to walk with love, walk with integrity, and we are called to be more than chameleon Christians. These Kendrick brothers, Alex and Stephen, teach how to battle spiritual warfare and "Face the Giants" and to make a "War Room" . Run your race with passion, purpose, and perseverance.
I invite you to prepare your field. Don't waste your gift. Leave a legacy so that others will remember fondly the way they felt in your presence. Your words of life will impact the generations to come ! The Farmer sure did. His encouragement and sowing seeds deposited life in me and many others, no doubt. My aim is to prepare my field and sow the same life and love in others. Henry "Buster" Hall, I’m forever thankful for you. Thanks for sowing seeds of life and showing us how to pass on a legacy of love.