Sit a Spell!

By Shirley Prihoda

For years, I kept my “sharecropper” heritage a secret. I was ashamed of where I came from, and how others may judge me. Actually, after meeting the Lord, and His healing and restoration of my thinking, I realized how others looked at me said way more about them, than about me.

The whole concept that anyone else is “less than” because of where they happen live in, the work they do, or the wrong decisions they’ve made before finding Jesus, is really pride on steroids! By what stretch of imagination could any of us ever say we are “more than” anyone else?

Today, I heard the most amazing thing from one of the Adult and Teen Challenge guys. They told their employer, “They treat me like I’m a human being.” It actually took my breath away that this basic necessity of life, to be treated like a human being, would have ever been withheld from him!

Human life is valuable to our God. If it wasn’t, He wouldn’t have invested so heavily in the redemption process. As I look at the students on the campus, I don’t see what the Lord is calling them out of, I see what He is calling them into. That’s how we should look at every person we meet, saved and unsaved!

One of the vilest forms of darkness is placing a lesser value on someone to improve our own standing. We see this so clearly in Nazi Germany’s evaluation that the Jews were less than they were, and thusly deserved eradication from the face of the earth. The book of Ephesians shouts for any who will listen how to bring light into that kind of darkness. I love what Corrie Ten Boom said about the deep darkness of that kind of pit, There is no pit so deep, that God’s love is not deeper still.”

Ephesians Chapter six tells us about standing strong and that we have offensive weapons to pierce that darkness. The first thing we must do is to stand up, and speak up for what’s right. How is that a weapon? Obviously, you can’t fight lying down and passivity is agreement. Secondly, hold this truth close to you: that all people are created equal in the image of God. Thirdly, hatred spreads like wildfire, so bring peace into the situation. Fourth, know Who you have faith in, and believe He alone brings vengeance and rights all wrongs. Fifth, cover your mind with the knowledge of whose child you are, and the value He places on His creation.

You know how I roll, everything has a behind the scenes story, so, of course this one is no different! This one is about my grandfather who was “less than” in most people’s eyes. He couldn’t read or write and always smelled of sawdust. If he ever knew he was “less than” other people, he didn’t let on.

We called him Paw. I don’t remember Paw ever telling stories anywhere but on the front porch. He would always say, “let’s go sit a spell.” That’s just the East Texas way of saying, “sit down for a while and talk.”

Sixty-five years later, I still remember his voice “recollect” if you’re from East Texas.

His stories always centered around ghosts chasing someone through cemeteries, although sometimes, he would throw in a word riddle. One riddle was, “a horn ate a horn in a high oak tree; if you can answer this, then you can hang me.” This riddle was hidden inside the story of a man about to be hanged who challenged his executors to solve the riddle and they could hang him. They couldn’t, but then neither could I.

It’s strange the things you remember from your childhood. I remember stacking wood just so in an old cast iron stove, and feeling the top to tell when it was time to pour the cornbread into the hot cast iron skillet, and pop it into the oven.

I remember harvesting peanuts by hand and laying on top of them as I rode back to the house. I could hardly contain the smile on my face, because I knew we would have stories, and parched peanuts on the front porch tonight!

Memories flood my mind of the distinctive smell when tomatoes and okra was picked for supper. And, how long the wait seemed for mama to call us to supper on those nights! I’ve seen many beautiful table settings in my lifetime, but none as beautiful as that plain, oil-cloth covered, wooden table that may have had two dishes that matched. We could never seem to get more than a couple of patterns out of the oatmeal or washing power box before the pattern changed.

When you are called to supper with a table laden with fresh sliced tomatoes, fried okra, speckled butter beans, and hot buttered cornbread, words fail you! The fast-food trend of today where everyone orders something different was never an option on a farm. You ate whatever was harvested, and strange as it may seem to today’s parenting styles, we ate it with gladness. It never occurred to us to not like what was set on the table. Sorry, soapbox moment.

I also remember that I didn’t know I was “less than” until I was told so at school. So, my dear friends the next time you think you are just a little bit better than someone else, remember where that type of thinking leads.

My mother-in-law’s recipe. If you like the filling of a pecan pie, you’ll love it!

Molasses Pie

2 Tablespoons Flour

2 Tablespoons Vinegar

2 Tablespoons Butter

¼ Cup Canned Evaporated Milk

3 Eggs, beaten well

2/3 Cup Sugar

1 ½ Cup Brer Rabbit Blue Label Syrup

Unbaked pie shell.

Preheat oven to 350°.

Combine ingredients and pour into the pie shell and place on a cookie sheet. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until a knife inserted comes out clean. Add walnuts or pecans, if it suits your fancy.