Sally was a teenager who had run away from home after having siphoned off a large amount of her family’s money.  Sort of a classic case of teen rebellion.  I put her story on a computer-designed greeting card telling what I knew about her situation and how much her folks wanted her to come back home.  I ended the story with a request for prayer for Sally, for her protection, and for her return.

One evening I took several copies of the cards to the mall where teenagers were hanging out.  Most of the kids were together as couples or in groups of three.  I would stop them and say something like this, “I want to give you a card that tells the story of a girl about your age who has left home.  I’d like you to read her story, and if you believe in prayer, please pray for her.”  No one was rude to me or refused to take the card.  In one case a  couple of the girls went over and sat on a bench to read the card.  Another said she did pray and she would take the card to her church group.  Others just responded politely.  When I got down to only three cards, I met a group of four.  They were “groomed” in a most non-conformist way.  I started to back out of stopping them.  But I did and gave them  my last three cards, and walked on.  Then I heard a girl come up behind me say,

“Ma-am, would you give me one of those cards?”

“I’m sorry, Babe,” I replied, “I’m all out.”

“All right,” she said, “I’ll just read my friend’s.”

I recalled that incident last week when I made comments to dawnliz

Dawn had used a picture and a scripture about plowing up the fallow ground.  I told Dawn that I was rather pessimistic about “planting seeds (spiritually)” in areas I considered to “far gone” for me to have any influence.

As I said that I recalled this interaction with teens.  It was really a pleasant evening with them.  They were very gracious in spite of the way they looked!  That’s probably what thought of me also!  Why didn’t/don’t I do that sort of thing more often?  I was a bit spooked when going to my car; I questioned in my mind about whether I should be passing out anything in that place; I thought it was probably not the “right” thing to do – going around and stopping teens.  Dumb, huh?  But I didn’t do it again.

I don’t really know how to end this.  I’ll just say, “I think I missed meeting some really nice kids, just because I let the negative thoughts get through to me.”  After all, security might have told me to stop, but they wouldn’t have put me in jail!

I could have been (or be) out there “plowing up the fallow (and maybe, fertile) ground.”




About oneta hayes

ABOUT ME Hello. To various folks I am Neat’nee, Mom, Grandma Neta, Gramma, Aunt Neta, Aunt Noni, Aunt Neno, and Aunt Neto (lots of varieties from little nieces and nephews). To some I’m more like “Didn’t you used to be my teacher?” or “Don’t I know you from someplace?” To you, perhaps, I am a Fellow Blogger. Not “fellow” like a male or a guy, but “fellow” like a companion or an adventurer. I would choose to be Grandma Blogger, and have you pull up a chair, my website before you, while I tell you of some days of yore. I have experienced life much differently than most of you. It was and is a good life. I hope to share nuggets of appreciation for those who have gone before me and those who come after me. By necessity you are among those who come after me and I will tell you of those who came before. Once upon a time in a little house on a prairie - oops, change that lest I commit plagiarism - and change that “house on the prairie” to “dugout on the prairie.” So my story begins...
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  1. shoreacres says:

    Even fertile ground has to lie fallow now and then, if it’s going to be productive. And it’s become clear to me, over the years, that we can’t predict what consequences our actions or words may bring. Sometimes, years can pass, and then suddenly, we realize that we did have an effect. That’s part of the wonder: that we never know.

    • judyjourneys says:

      Very insightful, Shore Acres. I would add that the devil saps our joy by needling us with feelings of guilt.

    • oneta hayes says:

      Linda, It does take time for a crop to mature to harvest time. We must continue the planting in faith that good seeds will develop. This is a theme that many teachers have to live by. Do my part when they are mine, pass them on to others when time to do so. And even God shows us the importance of a rest period. Not only in the rest on the seventh day, but didn’t he also call for the Israelites to leave their land fallow every seventh year? I think so.

  2. pamkirst2014 says:

    What a great way to reach across that divide! Have you heard a happy ending to the young runaway’s story yet?

  3. Faye says:

    Interesting and I enjoy the ‘follow up’ comments. As was stated above only God knows what seeds have been sown. Obedience to Him is really the key. If you KNOW He says and confirms in your heart then sow what, how, when and where He alone determines. My human thinking and even the negative reactions of some folk around could have stopped me from sowing what I KNEW God had inspired me to do. Butterflies in a disaster area the sowing He led me to make eventually led to thousands upon thousands being dropped and delivered. even in Japan a pastor scattered 20,000 over a desimated area after a Tsunami. Prayer and sowing. How many lives encouraged and how much Hope was sown……ONLY GOD!
    Thank you for your sharing and all the comments. Rest but listen to the Voice of the Spirit in the days in which we live. All of us can make a difference if He truly is the Shepherd who leads and guides.

    • oneta hayes says:

      And he is – the Shepherd who leads and guides. Things can be hindered, however, by disobedience. We should be tuned to the Voice. Thanks, Faye, you always add to my thoughts in just the right way.

  4. luckyjc007 says:

    yes, you don’t always know when or how what you say or what you do will affect someones life in a positive way. It’s a blessing to have people that care for others even though they may not know them or their circumstances.

    • oneta hayes says:

      Lucky, I don’t know how many generations you have cared for, but I can vouch for the fact that each generation of my descendants have my heart. Counting me I am living in a four generation family. I can see how problems and blessings reach to the third and fourth generation. I find it true in my peer group. Each of those precious babies have an eternal soul! What a responsibility. How it must touch the heart of God when his “babies” are mistreated, or go unloved and uncared for.

  5. dawnlizjones says:

    I am so incredibly impressed that you even thought to do such a wonderful thing for someone’s child! Wow, what a witness! This really encourages me to get out of my comfort zone, and not to worry about “dirty-ing up” my hands while plowing up in fallow fields. You are one awesome lady. (That was sweet of you to reference me in your post; it was not at all necessary, but I’m honored!) God bless you!

    • oneta hayes says:

      Dear dawnliz, the Bible (Paul’s writing, Titus 2:4) instructs the elder women to teach the younger. You have such a teachable spirit about you. If I can give you ideas and encouragement to take adventures in Jesus, I am most honored. Some of the most amazing things happen when one sees her life as a adventure with Jesus. Thanks for your sweetness.

      • oneta hayes says:

        One more thing, I see up above that you asked for prayer for your children (I don’t know how to answer there because I don’t see a “reply” indicator), Yes, I will pray for them and for wisdom for you in dealing with them. It is hard for a mother to determine just when to “push” and when not to. I had two friends one time each of whom had a son who was being very difficult. They were each so tied up with despair, it was hard for them to pray instead of panic. I suggested that for a period of time, they just lay off praying for their own son and pray for the other person’s son. Each son was being prayed for. That seemed to help them be less emotionally involved and be able to pray with more wisdom for the friend’s son. Of course, it was necessary to daily commit their child into the Lord’s care with thankful hearts that the Lord would take care of them. I’m still friends with one of the mothers and her son is a fine Christian man. I’ve lost track of the other

  6. Honestly, you could have stirred some hearts the right way by your actions. In between the fallow ground, there is also a fertile strip.

  7. oneta hayes says:

    I do believe something positive happened to others as well as t me, but I am so saddened that I let negative thinking beat me down. This incident happened several years ago and I have never told about it before. Maybe now it can be encouraging for others to try out new ventures and not give up so quickly.

  8. Oneta,
    You are quite an inspiration. …Blessings

  9. Dawn Marie says:

    I don’t think the farmer recognizes the work his/her PLOW is doing…so too perhaps for you. The CARD you created was the tiller. God used you to steer.. Bless you for the soil you loosened! Hugs!

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