[Sunday June 12, 2022] I’m not sure I can adequately describe it, but there was a quiet sweetness of spirit in the building today at Bethel Church. Bethel Church is a place/a people devoted to love, to the word of the living God, and to worship. We have covenanted together to be kind and loving to one another. We are devoted to the Lord, to one-another and to the Word. A good church is a sweet and wonderful place on earth. The singing was especially strong. There was a good spirit. It’s not something that I can fully describe. I suppose it should be experienced.
A Woman’s Touch
Friday is my study day. I work from home. I bunch my meetings early in the week. By Friday I rise early and get at it. I keep my head down and try to avoid interruptions so I can concentrate on my message preparation.
All was going according to plan last Friday. I was ahead of things. I had time for a much-needed haircut and I had time to mow my lawn while listening to a delightful audiobook.
By Friday evening I was on the side porch reading for pleasure when Lois called on her way home from the antique store where she works and said, “I have fresh strawberries. I got them from an Amish farmer. I’ll make some strawberry shortcake when I get home.”
I love it when she gets out her cook books and puts on her apron. Good things happen.
The news lightened my heart. This was turning out to be a delightful weekend. The weather was perfect, sunny, clear, cool, and comfortable outdoors with a gentle breeze and plenty of shade.
Out in the “teardrop” the grassy center of our circular drive a cluster of bright yellow irises are blooming just now. The bulbs were a gift from “the sisters” Mary and Judy. Lois planted them, tended them, and guarded them. Now they are blooming there on an early summer evening for me to enjoy while I wait for my supper of strawberry shortcake. Flowers. Good eats.
She also planted a blooming Apple tree, a snowball bush and collected and arranged other things of grace and meaning, things with stories attached to them and history.
All around Bittersweet Farm is evidence of a woman’s touch—things I enjoy that lend grace and beauty to my life and would not be here if I lived here alone without Lois. Sometimes there are smells of things baking or cooking. Other times you come home to smell banana bread, only to discover she is not baking but pouring candles.
There are flower beds, pictures, and artwork. There are soft-glowing lamps in the window and collectables and things I would never really think of putting in my home. There are chiming clocks and there are beautiful cups and plates. There are meaningful professional photographs on the walls and the place is usually fragrant with a variety of candles. Most of you already know that Lois is a serious photographer and a candlemaker.
Sometimes I pass by a home along a country road and there are now flowerbeds, no evidence of a woman’s touch. Nothing hangs on the walls. Nothing embellishes the porch. Nothings grows along the walks. The person living here may have a wife who is not creative or crafty, or maybe he lives alone. Probably he lives alone and does not have flower beds or strawberry shortcake on a summer evening. Probably he never hears a woman humming or singing or whistling in another room. His home is lacking a woman’s touch. Maybe, for whatever reason, she is gone. Maybe he never married. Maybe she has left. Maybe she has died.
He lives there without that companionship of a wife. He lies alone in bed at night, no one to share his burdens or listen to his heart or celebrate his joys. He has no one there to lie to about the size of his fish. No human there with whom he can share his life.
I’ve often thought is would be sad to live without a woman’s art, or fragrance, or fellowship, or touch.
“Who can find a virtuous woman, her price is far above rubies.” —Proverbs 31:10
June 13, 2022