Monday: Psalm 127-131, Acts 6.1-7.16, Matthew 14.1-13

from Aanchal Narang

I’m writing this reflection at noon on a Sunday: I’ve only gotten out of bed a few times (for medicine, to fill a hot water bottle, to get some coffee). Church didn’t happen this morning and I wish I could say I spent the morning more productively than I did – I binged on Netflix and ordered socks from Amazon. 

I started working on a farm about two weeks ago, and it has been so sweet. I come home covered with a thick layer of dirt and am tanner than I usually am. I’ve gotten to enjoy scallions in my salad and strawberries right from the plant.

But this Friday I woke up with a horrendous cold (courtesy of the heavy showers this week and my perpetually waterlogged boots), my arms covered in a diabolical sun allergy, and my back seized up from planting and harvesting.  I had to call off work and I’ve been in this state pretty much all weekend.

Being outdoors is something I really enjoy, and so is farming. It felt serendipitous, getting this farming job, at the time that I did. I’ve been ill for 6 months and just began feeling better about a month before I started at the farm, so it’s quite discouraging to be brought back to my bed so soon after I left it. 

I think of “Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain, unless the Lord watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain” (Psalm 127.1) At another time (and perhaps, at moments still), I would have believed that my skin burst at the sight of sun because I shouldn’t be outside, or that my back seized up because I shouldn’t be working on a farm. It’d be easy for me to fall into that trap. 

But I’ve come to know God’s love for me more and more this past year, and I don’t believe that He’s the punishing overseer I’ve thought he was. I’ve felt His tenderness. And I believe He’s building something in me – something in this time of forced rest. 

Perhaps he’s building in me a stronger foundation, one that isn’t so swayed by each passing wind of frustration, one that can also feel His closeness in each circumstance anyway. Before, I searched for certainty – even if it meant I had to brand God as a punisher. Certainty made a situation (and God) more manageable. 

But, as I learn more about this new God, this true God, I’m continuously walking in uncertainty. And I’m okay (not happy, but okay) to sit in my bed, put lotion on my arms, and heat my back as I let my God do what He needs to do. And I’m okay not to know, because I trust in how and what He builds. 

Aanchal Narang is a writer and wannabe farmer living in Jamiaca Plain. This is how you say her name:  
1. Aanchal -   Aaaah – n – chuhhhhhl  (the third ‘a’ is pronounced like the ‘u’ in gum)
2. Narang -   Naaaaaaa- rung (rung like rungs of a ladder)
If you have questions, please ask.