What makes the world go ‘round

Published 6:45 pm Tuesday, September 30, 2014

I was busy in the kitchen at the sink and looking out the window when a young man drove up and began to walk to the front door. He’s a fine young man; one of many I know. He comes from “salt of the earth” parents and his goodness and his goodness and kindness shows in many ways, one of which I will mention shortly.

He works hard as a farmer. After my moving to Bainbridge and being appointed to the Sutton Chapel church, I met his father and him at a local fundraising event. I liked both of them immediately. We had so much in common.

All three of us had grown up on tobacco farms and there is something about that crop that allows for the conversation to be easy. It doesn’t matter whether the crop was grown in Mitchell County, as ours, or in Decatur County, as theirs. It takes the same hard work and sweat, but it also brings about an understood experience and no words have to be said. Plus, there is usually more laughing and lying than anything else.

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Sort of like those military reunions that I used to host when I was in the hotel business.

Those soldiers had traveled many miles to meet up again. As they checked into their rooms, they were so happy to see each other. The foxholes they had dug and the miserable food and weather they had shared were all forgotten. There was a common experience that was bigger than all that.

The young man who came to my front door on Saturday had his usual grin as he saw me through the window and he had a bag in his hand. I sort of knew that he was bringing me something, but I couldn’t imagine what it might be.

I was glad to see him. I had been thinking about him and his family for a long time. It was back in the Spring of this year that he had lost his father to illness. It was a pretty tough blow for a young man, who was thrust into becoming the decision-maker for the farm.

It was not something that he couldn’t handle. As tough as the decisions would be, I never had one doubt that he couldn’t make them. It’s the simple fact that the loss of a daddy in such a premature manner; that was the difficult hand to play.

When I saw him, though, there was one thing that was the same as when I had met him over ten years ago. His smile was just as genuine. His purpose in coming by was to bless and he did.

“I thought you’d like these,” he said. “Daddy always thought about you during this time of the year.”

The young man had in his extended hand a huge bag of green peanuts for boiling. Not only were they just the right age, he had washed them and all I had to do was put them in the pot, add a little water and salt, and let them boil.

What a wonderful blessing the young man was. I know that there are lots of problems in our world. Too many and they are serious, but it only takes one young man, raised in the right way, to allow for the temporary thought that things are going to be okay. That’s what makes the world go ‘round.