At church on Sunday I prayed that God would let us hear exactly what we needed to hear, and that the minister would speak the words and we would hear them.
The crazy thing is...I didn't really expect Him to answer quite so clearly. And even when He did, I still question if I really heard Him right.
This is the gist of our conversation on the way to church Sunday.
"Well, are we supposed to open the farm for fellowship? We aren't leaders. We don't know enough. We don't have a pavillion. We don't even have bathrooms. If we tithe for our own port-a-potty fund, does that "count"? What about the weather? Bugs? Chairs? Who will lead singing? Who will lead the devotional? What about parking? Move the donkeys out of that pasture every Saturday? What about the grass we planted? But God gave us this beautiful place, and it's our job to share it and use it for Him, but, but, but..."
You get the idea.
So, we were having some angst.
When the preacher stood up, this is what he shared first:
"It is impossible to divorce the question of what we do from the question of where we are." -Wendell Berry, The Unsettling of America
Then we heard this. Maybe we were the only ones in church that day that heard it this way, but this is what we heard.
What you have, where you live, determines what you are supposed to do.
"The first "church" was in a garden...man living in uninhibited presence of God. Then there was a tent. Then a building with walls. But the building wasn't the way it was meant to be..it limited access to God. You had to go there to experience God. And not everyone could go. Jesus is the better Temple and Priest, all who put faith in Him have access to God. The Holy Spirit is available to all who trust in Him...anywhere."
And we realized that we may just be Donkey Milking Farmers, but what we have, where we are...this isn't ours. It's His.
Last year at this time we had volunteers, coming out and picking up sticks and building gazebos and getting poison ivy and coming back for me....We were prepping for an impossible event, the Hee Haw for Health. It was beautiful. Amazing. A gift.
And now we have this beautiful garden under a canopy of trees.
We called it "Hope Hill."
And we locked the gate.
But now we're opening it again.
Maybe God is going to teach us a lesson in humility and how to fail on a grand, spectacularly public platform.
It could be worse.
What would be worse than public failure?
To refuse to listen when we're called.
And that goes for each of us.
Because right now, we're just called to open the gates and have the best smelling port-a-potties around.
We aren't called to lead the worship or the devotional or the prayer or the kids.
But we're really, really hoping some of YOU ALL will be listening and answering that call.
So, email me if you'd like to bring your gifts to the table. Or just show up with your talents. (Either way works, but one makes the planner in me sweat like a pig. firstname.lastname@example.org)
Saturday, August 15th, 10:00-12:00. Freedom Fellowship at the Oklahoma Donkey Dairy.
Bring water and snacks for your family and whatever talents you have to share.
Please note, we will NOT be requiring anyone to wear a mask. We have children with OCD, sensory issues, Autism, Down Syndrome, etc. that come to our farm. Many of them cannot wear a mask, and they NEED to see our faces to read our expressions. Many of them do not understand personal space or social cues, much less social distancing. This is a reality that many can't understand or accommodate right now. But since we understand and love these little ones, we will be giving hugs and shaking hands. And washing our hands...we've got great soap. :)
Also, PLEASE no dogs. It's not that we don't like them, really, it's that we want your dog to stay alive. Our dogs are gentle giants. Our donkeys are gentle giants...UNTIL they see another dog threatening their "herd." And by "threatening" I mean, put a paw in their space. I cannot stress this enough. We watched our giant donkey Kramer and our dog Daisy team up to chase a coyote out of their territory. I think the coyote made it out alive...but just barely.
AND, we're a "no pesticide" farm. We do our best to keep bugs down with guineas and chickens and diatamaceous earth...but bugs happen. Please dose your kids with the bug repellent of your choice and dress appropriately.
I’m including a few pics from our Freedom, Fellowship & Farm event last Saturday so you’ll know what to expect:
If these pics give you a panic attack, our farm fellowship may not be a good fit right now. You’re welcome. We’ll love you if you’re wearing a hazmat suit. But no heckling or hating will be tolerated. Zero. Zilch. Nada. None.
I hate to have to say that, but we’ve had our share of hateful comments and we won’t allow that on our farm.