(Becoming The Bride of Christ Series)
In a Land, Far, Far away. . . But Closer than Any of Us Realize. . . the Following Story Continued. . .
With energetic warbling song, the first bird of Spring welcomed the sunrise outside Maria’s bedroom window. Maria groggily pushed herself up off her bed and rose to the window sill. Winter was so full of pleasant memories that she was somewhat sad to see it go. But she couldn’t let her wistfulness keep her from today’s excitement. Today was the day she’d help her new family plant their fields. She’d arrived shortly after harvest last year, and having never been among the planters of the fields back home, this was going to be a brand new experience!
With that thought bouncing around her head, she scrambled into her white farm clothes and ran down to the kitchen where Teacher was frying up pancakes and bacon while his wife baked up a fresh batch of breakfast scones. It smelled wonderful!
All too quickly breakfast was eaten and they were on their way out to the fields. The whole village turned out, each to their own plot. Some brought scythes to cut down wild growth that had tried to spring up over the winter months. Others brought hoes and bags of seed. Everyone was in a jubilant mood!
Maria and her family arrived at their plot and the first task was to prepare the ground for the seed. Rocks covered the surface of the plot and someone had tossed a huge tree stump into the middle of it. How it had been put there was anyone’s guess, but it had to be moved. Teacher headed for that mammoth task first while Maria and the others began collecting rocks and piling them around the edges of the plot.
One rock in particular just wouldn’t budge! Maria took out the hoe and tried to dig around it. Not getting very far with that, she knelt in the dirt and tried to dig under it with her bare hands to push up from the bottom. But the rock simply would not move! Exhausted, she sat back and opened her bag to bring out a bottle of water. Returning the bottle to her bag, she looked up just as Teacher came walking over after triumphantly removing the huge tree stump.
“Maria my dear, do you need help with this stone?”
Maria, still panting a little from her efforts, nodded affirmatively. She was about to open her mouth when Teacher put up a hand and proceeded to lift the rock out of the ground with hardly a ripple to his muscles. Maria’s mouth fell open. . .
Teacher noticed her shocked amazement and simply replied, “When you are weak, then I am strong.”
Maria’s eyes furrowed a moment, hadn’t she just read that in her Prince’s scroll?
The following morning Maria awoke with that incident still playing over and over in her mind’s eye. It was planting day today, but Meredith couldn’t come along. It would be up to Maria to plant the seed and remove any remaining rocks from the family plot. She made herself a quick breakfast and headed out to the land. Hours passed and it was time to stop for mid-day repast. For whatever reason, Teacher hadn’t been there either that morning. She was exhausted and still had half a bag of seed to plant in the tidy rows Teacher had explained to her the night before. After eating, she leaned her head against her bag and before she knew it, she was asleep. The sun was low in the sky when she sat up again.
Had she really slept all afternoon out in the field??? Horrified at the planting still to be done, she scrambled to her feet, reached for the bag of seed, and found it missing! Frantic, her eyes darted around wondering who would have stolen it, only to see Teacher at the far end of the field, planting the last few handfuls of precious seed. Maria ran to him, taking care not to mess up the rows of seeds already in the ground.
Panting, she stopped and dropped to her knees beside his bent over form. “Thank you Teacher! You didn’t have to do this!”
Teacher looked up, and with soft eyes replied, “It’s nothing Maria. Clearly you were exhausted and too weak to finish the planting. What did I say yesterday?”
“When I am weak, then you are strong. . . Yes Teacher, I remember.”
Teacher reached out a dirt-grubbed hand and Maria grasped it eagerly. “Go home now Maria, help mother with dinner, I shall follow shortly. I’m almost done here.”
Maria got up, dusted herself off, and walked back home, weaving through the other fields, greeting other villagers as she went. Teacher continued to amaze her.
What else would she learn before her Prince took her to the Palace?
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