“And as for the decent job, now, that’s something else. Any job a man can do to make his way in this world is a decent job as long as he works hard at it and does his best. You know, God didn’t put sweat in a man’s body for no reason. He put it there so he could work hard, cleanse himself, and feel proud. Don’t you ever forget that.” Charles Ingalls
When my husband comes in the door at the end of the work day, he doesn’t loosen his tie and drop his briefcase on the floor. And he doesn’t take off his dress shoes and hang up his suit jacket. Instead, he lifts his ball cap and drops his water canteen. Then he hangs up his Carhartt and kicks off his boots. His boots aren’t shiny and smooth; they’re covered in mud and manure and scuffed from hours of work.
Hard. Physical. Work.
I grew up in a suburb of a very large city. Combines and large machinery were only things that I had seen in passing while driving down the highway on road trips. The only “farmer” I knew was the one in the Dell. And little did I know that when “the farmer takes the wife,” that one day that woman would be me.
The other thing that I didn’t know was the about “the farmer” is how hard he works and how dirty he gets.; he’s not behind a desk in an office, but out beneath the open sky. I didn’t know about the actual blood, sweat, and tears that go into his job. And I had no idea of the amount of respect that I could possibly have for one man who works so hard to make his dreams a reality.
You see, the results of his work ethic shows up in the most unexpected places. I didn’t know that the heart of his work would show up in the roughness of his hands; the callouses from laying pipe in the hot summer months of irrigating and the cracks in his knuckles from working up in the undercarriage of his combine. And I didn’t know that it would show in the weariness of his eyes when he gets in at midnight after a sixteen hour day of harvesting or that it would be seen from my back door as I watch him walk up with his tired stride, climbing out of his pickup after a late night of calving.
My farmer doesn’t don a suit and tie while getting job promotions or preparing for big business meetings that push him forward in his company, but he does compete against himself and the forces of Mother Nature everyday. Striving for efficiency, finding ways to do it better, and preparing for the worst, but hoping for the best. He does his very best everyday, nothing less. He isn’t afraid to work out in the elements and get his hands dirty, working until it’s “just right.” I know this because I’m the one who washes his laundry and clicks the dirt off his boots at the end of the day.
Some days it takes more scrubbing than others, but over the years I’ve found that it’s the part of my job that is the most humbling.
Because this is the thing about “the farmer” that I really didn’t know. In all the physical work he does, I didn’t know why his pants were so dirty. It’s because the farmer, our farmers, aren’t afraid to fall to their knees before their God. They kneel in the dirt in awe of Him as they watch their crops pop through the soil each spring. They dig their knees into the dirt while they pull calves, praying that they can help the heifer usher new life into the world. And they fall to their knees beneath that open sky and pray for rain. And when it comes, it’s right back down onto their knees again, in prayer, thankful for His faithfulness.
You see, it isn’t just this position of the farmer on his knees in work, it’s the posture of his heart in prayer. And that’s why the farmer’s pants are so dirty.
You May Also Like: