Sunday, September 16, 2012

the harvest

The last of our summer veggies are being picked.  The corn is long gone. We tired of squash and beets ages ago. Only the tomatoes and a handful of cucumbers remain on the vine.

There is nothing like a good bite of raw corn, fresh from the garden.

At least no one can say that my kids are picky eaters.

"He told them, 'The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into His harvest field.' "  Luke 10:2

My eyes are being opened to the plentiful harvest around me, and yet, I feel somewhat inadequate to be one of the workers.

I am a member of our church's ministry for women, and we are currently in the middle of a 3-night event called Conversations. It is a ministry formed essentially around giving women the time and space to discuss some heart-level topics, like the legacy that we leave, and how our past doesn't have to dictate our future, and our identity as women defined by love.  There is coffee, and dessert, and a different woman of wisdom from our own church community facilitating the discussion each night.

We designed this event to be small, thinking that perhaps around 20 women would be interested. Just to be safe, we would plan for 30. As it sometimes happens, God had other plans. Our very first night we had over 70 women show up. We did an emergency move from our cozy fireside room into the sanctuary.  The harvest blew us away.

How could we have so drastically underestimated what God wanted to do with this ministry? The women I met that night were primarily new to our church, or new to church in general. These were women hungry for connection and starving to know that some greater purpose might come out of life's heartaches. No problems were solved or solutions provided, these women were simply longing to be heard.

Sometimes the harvest is ripe for picking so that it can join you on the journey. Sometimes the harvest has bumps and bruises and wormholes, but the fruit is sweet none-the-less. Sometimes the harvest just needs to know that it doesn't have to fit into a cookie-cutter stereotype before it can be plucked. Change comes later.

In the four evenings that we have hosted so far, I have met women who are freshly divorced, women who are struggling to exit a broken relationship, women who don't have a person in their lives they can call a "good friend", women whose eyes fill up with tears as they are answering each and every question, women who show up all by themselves without knowing a soul. I even met a woman who worked at the printing shop where we had our little fliers printed. She pulled one off the stack and came. Alone. Mostly, I've met women who are dying to have someone care about hearing their story. All of this was shared within the span of 2 hours.

The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.

Above all, I am floored by what God wanted to do with this casual night designed with only a few women in mind. I feel completely inadequate to be even a small part of God's big agenda for these evenings. But, sometimes the workers can be untrained, ill-prepared, and inept and they still get to help with the harvest. Sometimes the workers show up with broken arms, but it is good enough that they showed up. Sometimes the workers think they don't want to pick, but end up with wheelbarrows full. Sometimes it is unclear who is getting more out of it all... the harvest, or the workers?


  1. I love this post! Thank you for writing!

    1. Thank you, Liz. And a big congrats to you as you will be expecting a new grand-baby soon! So fun!


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