“SOMETIMES GOOD NEWS STINKS”
AMOS 7.7-17 July 14, 2019
He is a simple man of less than average means. Okay, let’s be honest, he is poor. Most of us would call him “dirt poor”. He works on land that others own. He was born in a country to the south of the very rich nation in which he now finds himself. Long before he was born, the larger, more powerful country to the north had subdued the political leaders of his country into submission. And in his search for work, food, basic survival; for himself and his family, he has been forced to cross the border, into the land of prosperity. It is called a land of promise and hope.
A herdsman of good experience – he works well with both cattle and sheep. Yet, things being like they are; he often finds himself working on the farms and in the orchards instead. But whenever the opportunity presents itself he prefers to work with the animals. He likes being out on the hills. The animals trust in him. He can love and care for them without fear of getting hurt. I guess you could say he sort-of prefers the quiet, awe-inspiring power of nature, over the brazen, loud, threatening power of people who look down on him as worthless.
Sitting for hours at night on top of the rolling hills, he can look out across the flat valley floor for miles and miles. He can see the patchwork of crops below and it is almost as if he can reach up and touch the stars surrounding him in glittering light.
Out there, alone, it is almost like being back home. He misses his village, his wife and family. Back home – he knows everyone by name. He is an important man. They are so proud of him for making money to keep them alive. He prays God’s blessing on them. He hopes – he prays maybe, one day soon, he will be able to go back; but not yet. Sure, they don’t have much in his village, but everyone is in the same boat together. Share and share alike. Family to family. No one ever stuffs themselves at dinner; if they know their neighbor has nothing for their table. Better all in the village have only one meal each day, than for some to go hungry.