A Farmer's Epiphany

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By: Wayne Brown


I can smell the rain riding on the dust in the wind. It is coming from the west and off in the distance I can see the thunderheads gathering for their march across this vast plain that runs off to eternity in all directions. It is a refreshing smell that says welcomed moisture is on its way to a land that sees far too little of this liquid gold from the skies. It is a moment when a man stops what he is doing and wipes his sweaty brow with the bandanna wadded into the back pocket of his overalls. I take the time to pull my hat off and wipe off the hatband as well. Rain is a comin’ and it is time to give thanks to God.


This hard-scrabble life we lead out here…mostly man against the elements of nature. Some might say that a man who would be fool enough to take on such a challenge ain’t really got good sense. I look at it a bit differently I suppose. I saw a piece of ground where things didn’t grow and wondered why. I saw an opportunity to take a bad piece of ground and make it a good one. That was many years back but over that time, I think I won more than I lost. Especially on a day like today when God sees fit to send man a little bit of rain to help things along as seeds turn to plants and plants turn to crops. We pray for rain more than we do money out here. Maybe that is the reason the Lord sees fit to answer our prayers more often than not.


The land was sparsely settled and with what few came, even fewer stayed. The elements beat them down over time and they moved on. No one had time to help the other as we were all locked in our own personal struggles just to reap something from the land and survive. Looking back, maybe that was a mistake. Mankind has a responsibility to look out for others and lend a helping hand. Even I know that. But, I also know that I had my pride and felt that this challenge was mine to face and face it I would. I didn’t ask for any help from those about me. It was that simple in my mind. My pride was everything to me.


I was never much of a religious man until I came to this place. I always felt as if I had all that it took to do it on my own. Out here, in this isolate wilderness, one is relegated to that fact early on for there is no neighbor within miles to ask for help. It is you and you alone. At least that is what I thought in the beginning. After I had failed a few times and the crops were sparse, I began to look at what I was doing with my family. We were losing ground little by little and I would not ask for help because I did not know how. The sun and heat were slowly breaking us down and begging us to surrender. We were running out of time and pride was about all that was left.


I honestly did not know where to turn until one day when I was working the field and I swear a voice spoke to me from somewhere. The first time I heard it, I did not grasp the words as I was more shocked than anything else to hear a voice where there should be none. As soon as I shook off the idea and wrote it all off to the heat, I heard it again. This time, the words rang true as the statement was simple. “Help is here if you ask.” I stopped what I was doing and leaned on my hoe-handle slowly gazing about in wonder. Was I losing my mind? Maybe the heat was getting to me. I sat down and had some water. Nothing like this had ever happened before in my life and I was shaken to say the least. Again the voice repeated those same words as if they came straight from the sky above. They came from everywhere but nowhere in particular. I was overwhelmed. I gathered my tools and headed home for the day.


That night, as my wife and I finished up the supper dishes, I shared with her my experience in the field. Martha had come from a very religious background and seldom did a day go by that she did not read from her Bible which lay on the table in the living room. I told her of the voice and what was said. I figured she would laugh and tell me that I needed to stay out of the sun. To the contrary, she smiled and stood silent for a few seconds then she lay down her dish cloth and said, “John, the Lord is speaking to you. He is offering you his hand. So many times, I have prayed that things would get better but I believe the Lord wants to see you believe, John. He wants you to put your trust in him and let him give you the strength to move forward. You need to listen and you need to answer his call. The Lord has talked plainly to me for years and I see no reason why he cannot talk to you and you to him.” The she paused for a moment before saying, “That is unless your pride is getting in the way.” Then she patted my shoulder and smiled warmly at me. And just like that, she was off tending her chores. There was no mystery in this moment for her. She knew exactly what it was about. That was my Martha and that was what I so loved about her.


I lay awake for a long time that evening thinking about what Martha had said. She had a deep-seated belief in God Almighty and the strength of his way. I was an appeaser. I went to church most Sundays because Martha wanted to go. It was always an awkward place for me but I wanted to appease her and give in to the little pleasures that she had in this rough prairie land. Maybe Martha was right. I didn’t know but I did know that if she was, it was going to take some doing for me to talk to the Lord. I just didn’t know how. What would I say? What did he want me to say?


A few days past but the voice no longer came. The sun beat down in all its treachery burning the land like a prairie fire scorching the earth. As I hoed and scrapped the dirt, I felt more helpless than I had ever felt in my life. When I came to this place with Martha, I was a strong man. I was up to the challenge and I knew that I could do the things necessary to overcome the elements of Mother Nature. Now, I felt just the opposite. Now, I felt like a man who was beaten…finished, but who did not know how to quit. I felt like a man who, for the sake of pride, would stay here and work this land until he dropped and still lose in the process. I felt forsaken.


At that moment, the voice returned and spoke the exact same words. Without a thought I threw my plow to the ground and fell to my knees all but relieved that I had heard the voice once again. In that moment I began to pray as if another controlled my tongue and words, “Dear Lord, I am out of ideas and low on strength but high on pride. What I am, all that I am, you see here before you. I am but a poor farmer but one filled with pride; so much pride, I don’t know when to ask for help. But I do know that I need it now. My wife, Martha, and I have all that we own invested here in this dry little piece of ground. It is not much that we have but for what we have we owe our thanks to you. You have blessed us in many ways and never turned away though I could not find you in my heart. In this moment, all that has changed. I feel your presence all around me and I know that I am no longer alone. I feel your strength and I feel your undying love for this humble servant. Precious Lord, any way that you can find to help us create enough to sustain us will be such a wonderful gift and I pray that you will make it so.”


I remained there in silence on my knees for some time as though unable to move. I was lost in the moment and did not want to lose that moment ever again in my life. I stayed with it…relished it. After a while, I pulled myself up and headed to the house for supper. I said nothing to Martha but inside, I knew that I was a different man henceforth. That night, the storm clouds gathered and it rained upon the land as lightning and thunder danced between to billowing dark clouds. The flashes and thunderous noise were my affirmation that God had heard my prayer out there in that lonely field. He heard it and was bathing my world in the nourishment needed to grow my crops. As the rain fell, I stood in the roof eave of our small house and took it all in knowing that it was indeed a gift of the Lord. My tears of thanksgiving fell from my eyes like the rain pouring from the skies and there I stood unashamed in the rain with my heart bursting with love. When the sun came up the next morning, the world was a different place for me and would remain such.


Things got better after that. Maybe not all at once and certainly we stilled had some times when it was tougher than others, but my mindset was different. The hard times only seemed temporary for I knew better things were always coming to us. Church became a different place for me…one of comfort and solace; a place where I took the time to thank the Lord for standing beside me on those long, hot days when the sun baked all things in sight. I found comfort in His presence. For the first time in my life, I knew the love and comfort which my wife had known for most of her life. All I had to do to gain it was lay my pride aside and accept the love of the Lord.


Those thoughts pass through my mind now as I stand here and watch the storm clouds gather knowing that God’s love will be visited once again tonight upon the earth which holds my precious seeds. I finish wiping the sweat out of my hat but before I place it back on my head, I give a little nod to the heavens. “Thank ya, Lord. I knew that I could depend on you,” I say as I walk slowly back to the farmhouse where my darling Martha will have our supper waiting. A man’s strength comes from many places but mostly from the Lord. I know that now and I take pride in knowing it.



©Copyright WBrown2012. All Rights Reserved.


2 April 2012


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Comments 50 comments

Truckstop Sally profile image

Truckstop Sally 4 years ago

Wayne - Such an amazing story and testament to your strong faith. You hit the nail on the head with:

All I had to do to gain it was lay my pride aside and accept the love of the Lord.

The power of prayer is amazing! Thanks for reminding us!

Amy


The Frog Princess profile image

The Frog Princess 4 years ago from Florence area of the Great Pee Dee of South Carolina

Excellent Wayne. You are never alone with God at your side. He gives us answers in many forms. My faith is strong and the power of prayers are answered in many ways.

Happy Easter friend.

Donna


Parks McCants profile image

Parks McCants 4 years ago from Eugene Oregon U.S.A.

Beautiful story... Thank you.


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 4 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

Wayne, this story is a touching account of a man's revelation of faith and acceptance. It is tender, loving and makes my own heart soar. Thank you for this. I just love it and the song is beautiful. What a clear voice she has.


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 4 years ago from Hereford, AZ

This is so beautiful. Truly one of your best.


tlpoague profile image

tlpoague 4 years ago from USA

A truly amazing story! Even as a Christian, it is hard not to let my pride over-rule what God has planned for me. Your story reminded me of God's love for us. His help is there if we would just allow it. Thank you for sharing this heartfelt story. It came at a time when I needed the lift.


Sunnie Day 4 years ago

Wayne Brown (yes I am using your whole name) This is by far one of your finest pieces of writing. As a Christian it touched me so and so timely. We are downsizing and moving into a sweet little house. In today's market it is scary. I have spent nights up worrying about selling ours.One night recently the Lord reminded me that he provided the first blessing and he would take care of the second which was selling our house. I am believing him for it too. This farmer had the land, blessed with a family, health to work the land, God surely would bless his crop too. Sometimes all we need to do is get on our knees, asking, trusting, what is laid before us. Thank you so much my dear friend. Such a blessing. I needed to read this today. I am booking marking, sharing, and tweeting and if I think of anything else I will do that too..lol I love the Epiphany moments and when it involves God it has to be good!

Sunnie


WD Curry 111 profile image

WD Curry 111 4 years ago from Space Coast

I quit. I'll never be able to write anthing this good. I guess I'll have to be a critiquer for now on. Well done. I salute you! Slip me some coin and I will keep on giving you good reviews.

Never mind, the Lord won't allow it.


WD Curry 111 profile image

WD Curry 111 4 years ago from Space Coast

Do you see what I mean? I can't even talk riight. Good Job!


billybuc profile image

billybuc 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

Fascinating story Sir! I come from a family of Iowa corn farmers and the visions they painted in my brain of life on a farm have never left me. I'll have my own one day and then I can stand in the fields in wonder of all that was created.


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 4 years ago from Texas Author

@Truckstop Sally...Thanks much, Amy. I would hope that I could gain the faith found by this farmer. Glad you liked it. WB

@The Frog Princess...Very true, Donna. We simply have to be aware. Thanks much. WB

@Parks McCant...Thanks so much I appreciate the read and good words. WB

@Hypenbird...Thank you...so glad you enjoyed it. I loved the styling of the song as well. WB

@Becky Katz...We'll have to see if my sister thinks it is better than "Paper Wings". Thanks much Becky. WB

@tipoague...Our pride gets in the way along with our stubborn independence. These are things are become more aware of as I age in this life. Thanks so much...so glad you were touched by it. WB

@Sunnie Day...You had me laughing from the start, Sunnie. My wife, Barbara, calls me by my whole name because she says that is the only way she can get my full attention. You opening comment started me laughing. But you are also correct in our need to trust that the Lord will provide if we do our part. Sometimes we will not understand it completety but normally it all works out in the end. Thanks so much. I am so glad to touch you with this one. WB

@WD Curry 111...Oh No! Do not quit. This can only be an inspiration for you, not a a barrier. You have let your emotions flow and sometimes show more than you want to convey the emotion that the reader is touched by. Keep working at it...it will come. Thanks so much for the read and the good comment. I hope I can make some coin soon! LOL! WB


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 4 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

Beautiful.


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 4 years ago from Texas Author

@billy buc....I hope all that works out for you. It is becoming more and more difficult for a farmer to survive thanks to our government. Life is short...follow that dream. Thanks for the good words. WB


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 4 years ago from Texas Author

@B.Leekley...Thanks you so much. I really appreciate the comment. WB


Tom Cornett profile image

Tom Cornett 4 years ago from Ohio

A wonderful story Wayne...with a smile at the end. My favorite kind. :o)


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

Hi Wayne,

Beautiful story relating to religion. Sometimes I think that people tied a little closer to the earth (like farmers) would have an easier time of seeing the bigger picture than just the day to day. Eternal life is in the soil and so much of what surrounds them and is presented in the right season at the right time.

Voted up and beautiful and will share.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

Wow!

Wow!


susanm23b 4 years ago

What a wonderful and inspiring story of faith! I am so glad that I had the chance read this excellent hub. It is a great reminder that God is always there for us, providing and working out circumstances to meet the challenges that He permits into our lives.


John Sarkis profile image

John Sarkis 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

Very beautiful and heartfelt story. Faith is a wonderful thing to have....


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 4 years ago from Texas Author

@Tom Cornett...Thanks much, Tom...glad to see you about. WB

@Peggy W...I can't say for sure, Peggy but maybe what you point out is the reason for this one farmer's epiphany. Thanks much. WB

@susanm23b...You are so correct. As you can see from the story, I had someone there all the time who knew that...someone who John loved and respected who knew the exact moment that God had spoken to John. That opens the door wide to become a believer and I am so glad that John did so. Thanks so much. WB

@WillStarr...I take that one word from you Will like a take a paragraph from anyone else. Wow! works for me! Thank you, Sir! WB


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 4 years ago from Texas Author

@John Sarkis...Sometimes, faith is all we have. I hope that will always be true. Thanks much. WB


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 4 years ago from United States

Wayne, This is a wonderful,inspiring story and the simple concept of all we have to do is ask and believe was beautifully written. I lived in that place of hopelessness at one time in my life and when God came into my life it changed everything, as it did in your story. Rated up, awesome, beautiful and interesting.


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

I wonder how many of us see ourselves in your farmer? You told this story in a way that allows that to happen easily and beautifully.

Thanks for the encouragement through your well-written words.


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 4 years ago from Texas Author

@Pamela99...I too have hit bottom at times in my life. Those moments are my strongest affirmations of what I believe is true. From that standpoint, this one was easy to write. Thanks so much, Pam. WB

@Kathleen Cochran...When we can all empathize with each other, we are all on the same wave lenghth...we need a lot more of that in today's world. Thanks so much. WB


mollymeadows profile image

mollymeadows 4 years ago from The Shire

Well done, interesting story.


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 4 years ago from Texas Author

@mollymeadows...Thanks so very much. So glad you enjoyed it. WB


kj force profile image

kj force 4 years ago from Florida

Are you the gentleman who chose to change lifestyle and purchased land out in "nowhere" Texas and created your own pioneer lifestyle? If this is you, I was turned on to your writings by a dear friend from Colorado who has followed you from the beginning. Loved the Hub..and your "chutzpah"..thanks for sharing...


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 4 years ago from Texas Author

@kj force...I am not that guy. I think you are speaking of "50 Caliber" lives in a self-constructed dug-out in the Arizona desert. He built it all himself and has created a high level of self-sufficiency using gas powerered generators for electricity and hunting his own game. He is still about here on the hub. Thanks much for the good words. WB


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 4 years ago

Simply beautiful and voted that way.


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 4 years ago from Texas Author

@breakfastpop....Thanks much, Poppy...so glad you enjoyed it. WB


drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida

So well written, Wayne, I felt like I was reading poetry. What more can I say? Absolutely awesome, my friend.


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 4 years ago from Texas Author

@drbj...Thanks so much, Doc...I really appreciate the good words. Glad you enjoyed the read. WB


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 4 years ago

Thank you for writing this touching story. I so enjoyed the beauty portrayed and the truth of finding one's faith. Voted up!


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 4 years ago from Texas Author

@teaches12345...I am especially glad that you enjoyed it. I am not a person of great faith but I was compelled to write of one that was. That is the mystery of writer's inspiration...I have long since stopped asking why and now just go with it. WB


Vellur profile image

Vellur 4 years ago from Dubai

A beautifully heart touching story, full of faith hope and trust in the Lord.Spellbound. Voted up.


thebluestar profile image

thebluestar 4 years ago from Northern Ireland

Wayne, you gave me food for thought with this beautiful write. Unlike most of your readers here, I lost my faith when I witnessed the pain that my mom suffered before she finally took her life. Before that, I was a church goer, even sang in the choir. You have told your story with such inspiration that I crave to say special things about God, but I can't. As a writer you are a master of any genre and this standing alone is yet another triumphant write. I will try to keep an open mind, my heart tells me too. Thank you for being the person that you are. Net:)


kj force profile image

kj force 4 years ago from Florida

Wayne the " voice" comes to us in many different ways when we are in need,,unfortunately not all listen. Whatever way shape or form if it gives comfort and uplifts the spirit,relish it. You sound like a man with conviction..sorry for confusing you with " 50 caliber", guess my thoughts got crossed..enjoyed your hub very much..


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 4 years ago from Texas Author

@Vellur...Thank you! So glad that it had that effect on you. WB

@thebluestar...As I have said before, the old farmer has more in that department than me I think. Thanks so much for those kind words...they humble me. I do appreciate it. WB

@kj force...No problem on the confusion with "50"...he's one of my heroes. Thanks much for the good words. WB


David Warren profile image

David Warren 4 years ago from Nevada

Truly inspiring! You have quite the gift in putting the right words in the right places creating beautiful expression. Voted up!


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 4 years ago from Texas Author

@David Warren....I just get lucky sometimes, David. I do appreciate the inspiring words from you. Thanks much. WB


Deborah Brooks profile image

Deborah Brooks 4 years ago from Brownsville,TX

Wayne you are right it is time to give thanks to God. what a beautiful story. and so inspiring.

God bless you and Happy Easter

Debbie


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 4 years ago from Texas Author

@Deborah Brooks...Thank so much, Deborah and Happy Easter to you and family as well! WB


Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 4 years ago from Riga, Latvia

Voted up and beautiful! You're a lucky man to have the Lord's help. There's not a day that goes by that I don't say my prayers. Your story reminded me of that wonderful smell that fills the air just before rain falls. Thank you for sharing and God bless.


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 4 years ago from Texas Author

@Gypsy Rose Lee...I am a lucky man...but I probably don't have the faith the Lord deserves...I underastand better how to write about it. Thanks much. WB


rowley14t profile image

rowley14t 4 years ago

Mr Brown, I am far from being a christian. However, I am a very spiritual man. Many cultures for thousands of years have used rituals and prayer in order to bring rain to their crops as well as many other things that help to improve their lives. I believe that you were experiencing a time of great need and the grand architect of this universe has heard your plea and seen fit to grant you your wishes. I hope that you have many years of bountiful harvests and are never again in dire need of that "liquid gold". Thank you for sharing this wonderful story.


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 4 years ago from Texas Author

@rowley141...I am probably more like you than the farmer but I had the inspiration to write a man who could really believe. I wanted to see if I could convey that emotion of the moment and that authentic feel of a man close to God. Thanks much for the read and great comment. WB


Dim Flaxenwick profile image

Dim Flaxenwick 4 years ago from Great Britain

What a wonderful story. I love the way you write., as though I´m there with the farmer feeling the dry dusty heat.

Oh How grateful we should be when we live in a dry climate or a wet one. Grateful for what we have instead of complaining about what we don´t have.

Great hub. Voted up, awesome and beautiful. Thank you.


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 4 years ago from Texas Author

@Dim Flaxenwick....Thank you for those kind words. I wanted to see if I could write about faith and gaining faith in a credible way. I hope I brought that message. We should all be thankful to be on this side of the dirt! WB


quester.ltd profile image

quester.ltd 4 years ago

Faith and Grace, both are precious gifts from the Lord. You show that you have both.

Well done.

q


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 4 years ago from Texas Author

@quester.ltd...Your comments make me feel that I accomplished my goals with this one. Thanks much for those good words. WB

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