Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Corn

There's a kernel growing inside.  It makes me think of the tall fields of corn in New Jersey we passed daily during the week we visited our friends last month.  That corn was 'as tall as an elephant's eye,' as the song goes, as I invariably began to sing each time we drove by or stopped to pick up a few fresh, juicy ears for dinner.  Those kernels burst in our mouths that week, as we held those luscious, completely ripe, fully formed, slathered-with-butter (and only real butter will do!)-and salt ears of corn.  Ah, nothing better. One of my favorite summer foods, for all that it gets stuck in your teeth until it drives you crazy for the rest of the meal. But it's worth it. Isn't it? 
The next week, up at my brother's family's home, just four hours north (by rail), their garden had its own stalks of corn. But that corn wasn't nearly finished growing yet.  If I'd put it side by side with the New Jersey fields, it'd look sad and anemic.  But that's not the whole story.  The truth of the matter is that more growth was needed.  More sun and water and time in the soil before those stalks would be tall enough, broaden toward each other, and the feathers around the ears darken because life was bursting within. 

Writing about this gives me a hankering for fresh corn on the cob, I have to tell you, but that's not my point.  My point is that sometimes I forget how long things take.  How long a kernel has to simply be a kernel in the ground before it can become something else altogether.  I'm so blasted impatient.  For myself and for others around me.  But today, I feel a kernel of something inside.  And that kernel feels like it could bloom into something I've been watching and waiting for for...well, for a long time.  It's only a kernel today. But sometimes a kernel is what God gives us. 

A kernel of corn inside, a grain of mustard in our hand.  That's what He tells us it takes. So today, I hold onto that grain, feel the kernel growing within and thank God for both. Trust Him that soon enough there will be a field white with harvest. Juicy with ripe, lush corn, ready for whatever good feast He has in store for it.

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