The angry voices carried across the fields, to be lost amongst the stubble of last fall’s harvest. The rich soil was saturated with the runoff of the winter’s melt, and with the thousands of careless words vehemently spoken in the self-same season. Each time it was the same; small incidents sparking the fuel of years of discontent, hardships, and frustrations. Each time voices would rise in a cacophony of accusations, belittling, and threats. Each time he would storm from the summer kitchen of the old homestead, jump in his beat up truck, and race away.
As the rumbling of the engine faded, her bravado would slip, and she would crumble into a heap, and sob her anguish. “Ow.” She would whisper softly as she could feel her heart breaking a little further. How long could she continue under this relentless barrage of anger?
She looked out the window, her eyes sweeping across their land. Deeply rutted paths led to the various pastures, and crop lands. Those paths were much like their struggles. They always handled their problems the same way; ending poorly every time. She was so sick and tired of it all. But how could it be different?
Time passed. He still wasn’t home. She shouldn’t be surprised; it was their worst fight yet. Her eyes fell upon the dusty Bible in the corner.
“It couldn’t hurt.” She reasoned.
Picking it up, she blew off its cover and flipped its pages. She closed her eyes, raised a hand above her shoulder, and allowed her finger to land on a page.
“A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.” (Proverbs 15:1)
“Tell that to him,” she thought bitterly. She decided to try her luck again; arm raised and finger poised. She took the plunge.
“It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman in a wide house.” (Proverbs 21:9)
“Well at least I get the house,” she laughed sardonically. She purposed to get a better selection this last time, and tried her hand at her pell-mell reading.
She sat stunned at she faced down the final selection of scripture.
“Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.” (Ephesians 4:31-32)
She dropped the Bible back on the table, curled up under a heavy blanket on the couch and fell asleep. The scripture slowly seeped into the tender soil of her broken heart.
He didn’t come home that night.
The next morning he came in from milking the cows. A myriad of questions and accusations flooded her mind. She opened her mouth to lambaste him when her eyes fell upon the Bible. She swallowed hard.
“I’m glad you’re home safe.” She said in a still quiet voice.
She could barely believe these words were hers, but there they lay in the arena of their marriage, awaiting an answer.
***** ***** ***** ***** *****
That spring saw a new crop planted on the old homestead; one of kindness. Not all the plants took hold, but more survived than they could have imagined. They laboured daily on it, fertilizing it with time spent in God’s word and prayer. Each time they felt the chords of discontent singing their familiar tune, they would beg God for the grace to handle the situation with love. Each time they succeeded, new paths were created in their relationship, which in turn became easier and more familiar to travel each time. Each time they thanked God for His truth which had turned their lives around.
By fall they began to reap a beautiful harvest.
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