Monday, September 21, 2009


On Saturday, I had a funeral service for the wife of a retired pastor in our community. I had been visiting her for several years, as she had Alzheimers disease. I would always make sure her husband was there so that we could all have communion together. The last few years this wasn't difficult, as he spent most of his day with her.

As we planned the funeral, he estimated about 100 people would come, and we planned accordingly. As it turned out, there were about twice that many.

However, miraculously, the cake for the lunch afterwards did not run out.

*** ***
On Sunday at 10:00 we called the three-year-olds up, as we always do at this time of year. We talk to them about their first day of Sunday School. We give them a small present, a glow in the dark cross they can put near their bed at night. And we pray for them. We have their parents lay hands on their heads and we bless them.

There were just six three year olds present, but one of them was a curly-headed little girl that I had baptized about two years ago.

*** ***
After church, I went into my office to pack up, to think, to organize a little before I went home. I almost didn't notice the small brown lunch bag sitting just outside my door.

But, looking up from my desk, I saw it. Inside the bag was one large, perfectly ripe tomato.

*** ***
My mother grew up on a farm in Southwestern Minnesota. I used to think it would be fun to live on a farm. I visited my grandparents where they lived, and wished we lived in a place like that, with strawberries and pigs and kittens in the barn. When I asked my mother, she would laugh and say, "You don't know what you're asking!" She really liked living in a big city.
But once, in the fall, my mother told me that there was one time that she missed living on the farm: Harvest.


Lindy said...

Lovely vignettes, Diane. Thanks for sharing these. How are you going to eat the tomato?

Fran said...

Oh my- such stirring words in each one.

Harvest... a beautiful thought.

Today I am off to the funeral of my work (as you know I worship at one parish and work at another) pastor's mother. He thinks that 50 of us, give or take will make the 2 hour trip.

I think it will be double.

That is what I was thinking about before clicking here, interesting.

Diane said...

Lindy -- I don't know how I'll eat the tomato, yet. just want to slice it and eat it raw, right now.

Fran -- there's more I want to say about this pastor and his wife, but I need to ask his permission.

CJWille said...

It's a little like the church calendar building up to the Easter morning. Farmer's work all hear for the fall harvest. Our biggest celebration at church was our Thanksgiving services. We built a large display of produce and grains and it was a time of prayer and thankfulness for blessings and gifts. It made me feel a part of the larger community.

Presbyterian Gal said...

I think all of us miss harvest at some level.

Juniper said...

diane, this is just so beautiful. thank you!

Jennifer said...

What a harvest of experiences.