A Cherished Moment

Posted on: October 17, 2012 Written by
A Cherished Moment
      Photography by: Elena Kozlova from iStock    

These are the moments I cherish, those where I take a mental snapshot so that I can savor them over and over.  I was crouching on my haunches beside my friend who was crouching likewise.  It was a warm winter day, and we were both peering into a little gathering of dead sticks underneath a small bush.  Nestled there was a mother pig with her seven little newborn piglets, all in a row sleeping contentedly right where they had fallen asleep while nursing.  A few of the piglets were as pink and shiny as could be, just like the picture books.  The others had mottled spots, some black and brown, some black and white.  They were all just as cute as one could imagine, and we hunkered there exclaiming over them and chatting amiably.  My friend was glad that her pig had finally had her babies, and she had motioned for me to follow her across her piece of land to show me where the new mother was.  She asked me if I liked the pink ones or the spotted ones.  I told her that I liked them all.  She said that she would give me one when they were big enough, and asked if I wanted a male or female.  I told her I did not really know—this would be the first time for me to have a pig.

I told her that I love raising all kinds of animals, but that I did not grow up that way.  Then I told her a story of when I first came to Paraguay and someone sold me what I thought was a laying hen.  I was so excited about having my own eggs, but when it started crowing I realized it was a rooster—I was not going to get any eggs from that chicken!  That was the beginning of my learning about farm animals.

We both laughed at that, and then we got up from our hunkering vantage-point over the piglets and walked toward some trees that were hanging with bright orange fruit.  She told me that the first tree was sour and bitter Sevielle oranges, which are rarely used for anything.  The next tree, however, had some smaller oranges on it.  She said, “Let’s pick some of these.  They are sweet and good for juice.”  She went to get a bag for the fruit and a rake to poke up into the tree to pull the fruit off its branches.  We poked and pulled and picked up the fruit when it fell, and we chatted as we did so.  This whole episode lasted only about ten minutes, and then I hurried to my home right across the dirt road because some visitors came to my house.

I had not shared the gospel with my friend (that is another story), we had not prayed, and I had not quoted any Bible verses.  This, however, was a cherished moment to me simply because we had related as friends.  Something had passed between us that was warm and friendly and genuine.  A relationship was being built, and this was one little block in the foundation—and relationships form a platform of trust so that when the gospel is shared, it will stick.


© 2012 Women of the Harvest.

Question to Consider: What is one of your cherished moments?

About the author

Jean and her husband Tony have been church planters in rural Paraguay for 15 years. They have recently left their first church plant that is thriving on its own and are starting again in a new town where there is no gospel witness. They have three boys ages twelve, nine, and seven.

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  • Joy in Nepal

    This is a wonderful story and memory. It reinforces the “realness” we are and want to communicate.

    In reply to the question to consider: In the kitchen after church, making tea for everyone with a friend. We had to get one of those huge 10 (or 15?) gallon bottles of water onto a dispenser tap. It was all awkward and funny and we didn’t really know what we were doing, but we got it on finally, laughing the whole time. That doesn’t sound like much, but it was fun and sweet to me to laugh together.

  • ann

    After almost 10 years, I was invited to private property to berry pick. I did not grow up with this berry, but they are sweet and healthy, and I gobbled heartily as I picked. It was the best year of many, and I was astonished at the huge flexible trees that had to be bent down so I could fill my bucket. My friend and I were amazed at the abundance. She shared memories of berry treats from her growing up years, and we made more plans to pick as we rejoiced at the blessing of this harvest. I thought about the years the harvest had been so scarce that picking places were fought over, even berries stolen, I had heard. I thought about how another sweet-tooth like myself might have gone to pick, only to get a few, not many, in some years. Then this year. So many there were not enough people or time to pick them all. So many, so ripe, so much work to do…so few laborers… Spiritually, I have not seen a bumper crop in my ministry. I have seen frosts and blight wipe out tender growth. I have seen the weeds reign and choke…oh, how they choke. I have seen the rocks dry up the seed. But my heart’s tears may still water a fertile field, and maybe, just maybe, there will be a season when we will laugh at the abundance, wonder how to manage it all, and praise the God of growth.

  • Becky

    Ann, thank you for your comment! Such an encouraging follow-up to what Jean shared.

  • Jenny Giezendanner

    Once a neighbor and close friend of mine was helping me serve a large “tea party” in traditional style at my house for the ladies of the neighborhood. In that culture it was pretty much a taboo at the time to serve anything but light-colored cookies, but when I started making brownies for them, that changed pretty fast! I handed my good friend a large platter of the dark goodies and she took them into the living room to pass them around. She was a simple woman who had managed a large household well but had never been to school. I had never heard her use irony in our many conversations up to then. Soon she returned to the kitchen handing me the completely empty platter – “They sure didn’t like them!” she commented. We both cracked up.