The Farmer and the Eggs
On one particular day, I saw eggs everywhere I looked. I saw a bunch of fresh eggs in the early morning at a local farm, and egg shapes on my yoga mat. I heard a conversation on public radio about the longevity and shelf stability of eggs, and eggs were featured in the latest recording of one of my favorite culinary tv shows. I love symbols, and I was open to the possibility that God was directing my eyes toward eggs for some reason. Maybe they signified luck, or new life, or resurrection, or none of the above, but I was committed to letting the connection come to me, and not striving for an answer as I have done so many times before.
When I relayed the egg-instances to my husband, he picked out details I had totally missed. Tim loved the part about the farmer lovingly doting on each egg, washing them carefully and taking care to dry them on a white fluffy towel. And it’s true, the farmer was extraordinarily kind and gentle. When I entered the farm store through a single unlocked door, he called to me from the back room of the barn where he was peacefully, methodically, and tenderly at his task. He took the multi-page employment paperwork I had dropped off for my daughter, asked if I had made a copy, and carefully stapled it together. He assured me he would put it in the appropriate mailbox right away and direct it where it should go. He smiled at me with kind eyes. And it occurred to me: in all of my musing on eggs, I had totally forgotten the Farmer.
Like the farmer, the Holy Spirit takes our messy offerings and makes sense out of them. He directs our dreams and opens doors of possibility. He makes things happen behind the scenes. He lovingly cares for each life, washing them in baptism, and keeping them safe until they’re ready to be shared with the world. Like us, eggs are sometimes broken, and meant to sustain others with the goodness that fills us.
I find I’m always looking for stuff: help, inspiration, change, new life. I look for it so closely, and with such introspection sometimes, that I often miss the Farmer. Some of my most trusted spiritual advisors have been telling me this for a while, but it took my experience with this kind, quiet man, and my husband’s perspective, to see that I don’t need to look for stuff. I need to direct my gaze to God, and trust Him to take care of the stuff for me. He is worthy of my trust. He’s in the back room every morning, long before I’m even awake, arranging things for my day, caring for the lives around me, and making all things new.
And I was at peace, truly, for the first time in way too long.
As I prayed my intercessory prayers over the next couple of days, I imagined them as scratchings on sheets of paper. I gathered them up, and in my mind’s eye, handed them to the Farmer, who read them over with a smile, organized them, and put the requests exactly where they needed to be. Then, I sat with the Farmer for a while as the light streamed in and He worked on washing all of the new eggs for the day. It was nice, just spending time with God there in the barn. I hadn’t done that for a long time.
Less than twenty-four hours later, I imagined myself rushing back in to the barn to make sure those requests had landed in the right mailboxes. I wanted to exert my will and force the details. When I tried to take control back, I imagined the Farmer standing there shaking his sweet head. He said with a sigh, “Daughter, have you ever been to my mail room? Do you even know where it is?
“No,” I had to admit.
“Have you ever worked here before? Met any of the staff?”
“Daughter, do you think you can get those requests to the right people faster or better than me, who runs this whole place, who hired and knows everyone who works here, and has created the very processes we work by? Can you do this better than me?”
No, of course I couldn’t.
He continued, “Daughter, I’m the Farmer and you are definitely not the Farmer. You followed the signs that led to a door that I unlocked for you. I called you back to me, and invited you in, and I took all of your papers and promised to help you with things you cannot accomplish on your own. So you can sit with me here, and I hope you do, but when it comes to your prayers, why don’t you just trust that I’ve got them and that I’m going to do what I said I was going to do? Wouldn’t that be a whole lot easier?”
Yes, of course it would be. And as I jumped back out of the barn into the reality of my own messy kitchen, I shook my head and laughed. I saw the sun streaming in through the windows and whispered, Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief. Mark 9:24
As a much-loved daughter, I need only to trust in my loving Father, for absolutely everything. He’s earned my trust, and He can do all things so much better than I ever could. He’s my joy and the only place I can truly abide and rest. There in the quietness of the barn, I finally understood.