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Thursday, August 11, 2016
In a Time of Drought—Carolyn R. Wilker
It’s August and very hot these days
in our part of Canada. The rain seems to go around us instead of where we want
it to, so that the grass and trees and all will gain refreshment and the air
cools to make us feel better too.
We have rain
barrels at our home to collect the rain when it does come, and we use that for the
garden plants. We don’t worry about the grass getting dry. It will come back
later as it always does. But the food we grow is quite another thing.
The farm crops in
our area need rain desperately. I tell people, when they’re not wanting rain in
the middle of their summer activities, that if the farmer’s crops don’t get
watered, we don’t eat. Quite often city people don’t have it on their radar.
But I do, since I grew up on a farm where my parents made their livelihood.
Prices of produce
are higher the less there is, whether it’s grain crops or fruits or vegetables.
Think of the $8 cauliflower last winter or the apricots that are quite scarce
this year and thus more expensive.
Our water barrels
tomato plants affected by heat, but with water, they produce
Buying power is
less if your crops don’t grow when they should. I remember years when the egg
prices were down (since we had laying hens) and crops got hit by too much wind.
We got what we needed that winter, but maybe not any extras. Our parents were
frugal—not stingy, just careful with money—they learned to stretch what we had.
Another year the crops
might fare better and the egg price goes up, then we might get something extra,
such as new roller skates. I remember being excited about that conversation
when I was about 14 years old.
as our parents cared for our needs, fed and clothed us, and provided anything
extra, so too our Heavenly Father takes care of us—through the good times and
also the lean times too. Not just our physical needs, but also our spiritual
ones, when we let him in, and maybe too when we’re not so aware of the care.
It reminds me of
the late winter and early spring when my father was in hospice. It felt
somewhat like a wilderness with us wandering around putting in time, unsure how
long that would last. We’d asked for prayer, even when we were sometimes not
sure how to pray ourselves.
were praying for us helped on the sad days when Dad’s physical abilities
declined with each day, or our energy flagged with the frequent visits and the
rest of life that was going on around us. God was with us. Then on my father’s last
day, when the pastor came and gave a bedside service in Dad’s room, I felt God’s
In the Old Testament book, Hosea (13:5),
we read, “I cared for you in the wilderness, In
the land of drought.” The earth is dry
and desolate and we feel that way too at times.
God knows when we’re
feeling sad, discontented and in need of a hug and he often sends someone to do
just that, when we need it most. He knows about our wilderness experiences. God
knew too that the church full of people come to pay tribute to our father would
encourage us, because they cared enough to be there. The calls from others who could
not attend have been just as welcome, like water in a drought, even after the
funeral is over. It reminds me that people care and that God does too.
Carolyn R. Wilker is a writer and editor from southwestern Ontario, where she likes to spend time with family and friends. Having been raised on a farm, she has learned to conserve resources, such as water and to treat the earth with care.