The sun is high and warm, with only wispy mare’s tails clouds marring the sky. I drip with sweat, itchy in my long sleeve shirt and baggy jeans. I can feel the leather of my boots pressing clammy against my damp shins. The wind comes and goes, much like the dog, capriciously and without notice. The cat is lolling in the shade of the barn, resting indolently on the concrete pad of the side door.
I follow the three-furrow plow placidly, swinging my gaze from in front of the plow (looking for obstacles) to the back of the plow (checking the roll over and the soil condition) and then up to Him on the seat of the tractor (hand signals, commands, needs?) The sonorous mutter of the content Farmall M tractor, the steady hiss of sod being cut by the lead disc, the clucking of the lame wheel as it rides in the newly-formed furrow…all these things meld into a Mobius-strip soundtrack as I walk along, watching the plow, checking the rows, preventing any problems.
I am His eyes.
I slide the spade from shoulder to shoulder, frowning as the wooden handle roughs up the tender skin of my palms. There’s a low throb in my hands, a sharper acrid beat where the blisters are beginning to form. As I plod along, the pain melds into a low hum in my hands, matching the chugging commentary of the tractor. I ignore the irritation and settle back into my meditation.
The plow bucks and digs into the ground, refusing to move any farther forward. I swear and threaten the plow and the tractor as He urges the tractor forward, lunging the tractor, alternately blocking the wheels, backing up and lunging forward again. I lean forward and tear long tapestries of sod out from behind the lead discs, barely feeling the brief heat of the nettles hidden in the long grass. Finally He breaks free and I walk again.
Each time we pass the silo, I hold my spade up slightly, head cocked in an inquisitive gesture. At the nod, I come forward and scrape the plowshares clean, chucking the ragged streamers of sod into the last furrow. I give everything the once over and nod for Him to continue. Words are useless; there is no way we can out loud the tractor. Everything is based on gestures, down to the need for water.
Once in a while I trail away, headed for the barn or house. I grab a long, cold, dripping drink of water, then fill the bottle for Him and head back out, wordlessly handing Him the welcomed bottle. He hops off and we discuss the work so far, poking the soil, judging the conditions, assessing what might need adding.
It is under these conditions that I fully feel like an extension of Him. I’m His tool. I’m just like the plow, the tractor. And I’m happy. I’m content. I can just fall into the rhythm of serving Him and let everything else fall away.