The Sermon in the Hayfield
He was one of my heroes, and today would be his birthday.
This is a story of what made him special.
Love is patient and kind. . . I Corinthians 13:4
As far back as I can remember, I’ve been around Ed King. He will always be one of my favorite people.
As a boy in Dry Creek Church, I loved to hear Ed King lead the singing. His kind nature and mellow voice were always a delight to my ears and heart. In addition to leading the singing, Ed King was a well-respected deacon. We always respectfully addressed him as “Brother Ed.”
Ed King and his wife Kat operated a dairy north of Dry Creek. They were no strangers to hard work.
Mrs. King, whom Bro. Ed affectionately called “Kitten” was Dry Creek’s postmaster. They were a couple who always showed love to others.
The compelling trait I noticed about Ed King was his kind and gentle nature.
When you looked at him, you could easily tell how hard he worked. When you shook his hand, it was the strong and firm handshake of a man who had labored hard. His hands were leather tough and gnarled. But when a person first met Mr. King, they did not notice the hands, but the kindness that showed in his eyes.
Probably the most important thing Ed King ever did for me was a sermon he once preached to me . . .
As a teenager, the Kings would hire me to help haul hay. Mrs. King would drive their old green Dodge truck as we loaded the square bales on the bed and trailer. I recall on a hot sunny day how the old baler kept breaking down time after time.
Each time, Ed King would methodically repair the baler. Never did he seem bent out of shape or complain. As he worked, he carried on a normal conversation with me. As he repaired a belt or pulley, he’d tell some interesting story about one of the milk cows, or what “Kitten” was cooking for supper, or ask how school was going for me.
All this time he seemed unaffected by the continued mechanical malfunctions. On the fifth baler breakdown, I expected a temper tantrum or fit, but Ed King went right on as if this latest setback was nothing to get excited about.
We finally finished the job just before and dark and just after the seventh breakdown. I would have gladly helped haul that baler to Three Bridges and dumped it in.
However, as we loaded the last bales high up in the barn, Ed King merrily worked on.
Later as I thought about it, I realized that Ed King had taught me a very important lesson that day. It’s one that I’m still attempting to learn. He “preached a sermon” in the hayfield that day. Through his actions and attitude, he showed me how to handle disappointment and obstacles.
Now I’m as unmechanical as they come- all thumbs. But when the crescent wrench slips and I knock the bark off my knuckles, I hesitate before I fling the wrench toward the vicinity of the woods. In my mind, I recall the example I saw that day in the hayfield.
And when I face an uphill climb in life, I remember that patience and perseverance are two positive traits that go hand in hand.
And I recall the day I saw those traits on display when Ed King preached his sermon in the hayfield.