Monday, August 2, 2010

Size Matters

I am in a town the size of my thumbnail. In South Alabama.
South. Alabama.
Until Wednesday.
The town of Enterprise does have one claim to fame. A statue of a woman draped in a Grecian robe, holding aloft...a boll weevil. And not just any boll weevil. This thing is the size of her regal head.
Apparently in 1919, the Mexican insect wandered North and found itself in weevil heaven. In about three years it decimated the cotton crop, then smacked its lips and asked for more.
So, the farmers scratched their heads, hung their hands on their suspenders, threw in the cotton towel, and said, "Let's do peanuts."
Bam. Turns out peanuts were the economic giant of their time. The proverbial facebook of the early twentieth century agricultural world.
So, the farmers erected a monument to thank the bug that invaded their town and ate their world.
I love that.
I love the hopefulness it took to take a situation where their livelihood was literally devoured by the enemy, and not give up, or get mad. But to look higher.
I love that instead of bitterness, there was an admittedly strange and mildly disturbing display of gratitude, even for the ugly in life. Because the ugly was necessary to make room for growth. It was like the deep South's version of Job.
Thank you, God, for always making a way. Thank you that even when I face the ragged remnants of my cottony life, you have peanuts in mind. Give me the faith to seek your bigger and better way when destruction comes. Give me the hope to see beyond a lost moment to immense, faithful You. Give me the courage to let go when I need to of what I have always known, and plant a new crop.
And thank you that boll weevils aren't as big as my head in real life. Amen.

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