Wednesday, February 28, 2007

The Lord and the Farmer

This is the face I see when I hear J. D. Sumner do the piece recorded on YouTube below. I was named for this man, my grandfather, who spent his entire life farming the same land farmed by his father, grandfather, great grandfather and so on.

He was born a Scots-Irish Presbyterian whose trust was in an all-sovereign God.
In the cold dead of winter, when a cow had a difficult delivery late at night with the wind whipping and the sleet spitting, he carried a sickly, newborn calf striving for every breath into the "sitting room" trying to warm it. He rubbed it with towels, vigorously but still tenderly, trying to coax the next breath from the underdeveloped lungs. His eyes showed he knew the cause was lost but he wasn't giving up until no more effort was possible from the calf.

When the battle was lost, he sighed deeply, and in a deep, rumbling voice, not too different from J. D. Sumner's, said, "The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away. Blessed be the name of the Lord."

I invite you to click to play the music and story but scroll up and look into this man's face while you listen.


1 comment:

Preacher Mom said...

The first time I saw this picture on Mama's dresser, tears poured from my eyes. I could see that twinkle in his eyes and almost hear that devilish, rumbling chuckle of his. And I missed him so much. Listening to this tonight, I can almost swear I heard his voice. The story, well that could have been him for sure. And you know what? I still really miss him.