posted by April Johnson, June 10 2013
All we did yesterday from the time we started work until the time we broke for lunch was weed onions. As I alternated my stance from crouching to kneeling to standing and back again, seeking to spare my knees, my back, my neck, I was so grateful to be working alongside Jeff and the other interns (and Gary, in spirit). I count it a privilege to know them and to be spending time with them this summer.
As I mentioned in my bio, one of the things that motivated me to participate in this internship was reading Jayber Crow by Wendell Berry last summer. Of the many things I took away from the whisperings on those pages, one theme that has continued to take up a lot of space in my heart is this: the importance of recognizing the significance of the people around you.
Maybe I should clear out a drawer or two, because I don’t think this idea is leaving any time soon. I’ve come to believe that there is something special about a group of people being together simply because they are together and not somewhere else. It’s not because of who they are individually or what they’ve done. It’s not really about them at all. It’s about what God has done in choosing to bring them together and working to make it happen. I think this group at 8th Day – who gathers in my living room for prayer every morning, who weeds down the row from me, who potlucks on Wednesdays – is here not by chance but by the grace of God, a God who orchestrates all things and works them for our good.
When we recognize that He has seen fit to have us spend our days with specific people, it has the potential to enrich our appreciation of and love for those people. I don’t think I ended up living with Addie, Mary, Emily, and Angelee haphazardly. When Kimberly joins us in July I don’t think it’ll be an accident. Kyle and Trevor are just down the block from us for a reason. When we recognize that we are together on purpose, I hope it will help us love one another more deeply, with greater purpose, with specific gestures, words, and actions. God has put us together because He knows each of us intimately and cares for us tenderly. He has corralled these farmers together and called it good, and I’m certainly going to do my best to agree with Him and make the most of it.