Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Preparation for Pounding

So what is THIS issue about?!?

Sounds uninviting, unless you’re a country girl from East Texas and know what a "pounding" is. I grew up the daughter of a Baptist preacher in East Texas, which I labeled "Archie Bunker’s Shangri-La" in my youth. Despite my rebellious ways, I have to acknowledge all the loving country people who lavished their bounty on our family when the church had to choose between paying the light bill, or paying the preacher.

Daddy was also a cabinet maker, always with a waiting list for his work, so he supplemented our income when the little church couldn’t, and Mother was Assistant Director of Nurses at the local state hospital for the criminally insane, where I earned my college money during the summer. (Another story, another time!)

Back to "pounding", and how it relates to the subject of this month’s The House, Preparation.

A pounding from our church family meant lots of gleaming glass jars filled with peaches, pears and berries; watermelon, dill, sweet, and bread and butter pickles; chow-chow relish; red and green tomatoes; black-eyed, green, wax, yellow, pinto, cream and crowder peas or beans; jams and jellies and butters; freshly caught or hunted fish, fowl and game.

All that lovely provision for our pantry equaled lots of preparation: clean guns, the right ammunition, sorted fishing gear, prepared gardens and fields, and many times handmade quilts, pillow cases, doilies and kitchen towels, embroidered and tucked in among the jars. These faithful country folks worked hard, gathering right materials, plowing fields, planting seeds, saving seeds for next year’s planting. Pounding meant all that preparation, and then, at the right time, producing fruit.

And all this nostalgia brings me to Lent, and what Preparation might mean for us. What is God preparing us for right now? What "fields" in your character and knowledge is He "plowing under"? What feels like fallow ground? What feels tilled up, sorted, or sifted?  

He has good plans for us. (Jeremiah 29:11) Are your mind, will and emotion in agreement with His plan for you? How might this Lenten season prepare you for being "sown" and for His Harvest in your life sometime in the near, or distant, future?

I reflect on the sweaty, sunburned face of the deacon who taught me to drive in his little black ‘40’s Ford pickup. His name was Crit Teer, and he learned to read because he delivered mail to the church, met my dad and met Jesus, and Dad taught him to read as they read the Bible together. Many times there were peck and bushel baskets of lovely things from his garden, left with my mother when he came by to pick me up for the weekly lesson.

I’m reminded of how often I need to be "broken and spilled out", like Crit was, in order to prepare for His Love to grow in my soul. How about you?

Mary Hagle
Editor, The House
We grow as we share.

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