Preparation for Fruitfulness


Skunk Cabbage blossom melts its way through the snow

Many Christians prepare for Easter by observing a forty day period of spiritual discipline. They set aside time for reflection on the life, death, burial and resurrection of Jesus.

Mennonites are observing lent only in very recent years, and at 88 years of age I feel a bit strange in it.  I had to google Ash Wednesday to learn its date and significance.

A series of Lenten devotions provided by Goshen College benefit me.  Ann Hostetler, English Professor, posted a devotion for today that suited my needs. Her theme was the promise from God to 100-yr-0ld Abraham and to 90-yr-old Sarah that he would make them fruitful.


Thirteen-lined Ground Squirrel

Ann  wrote that while the snow covers our land, seeds (and hibernating critters) under the snow were alive and waiting for spring and the fruitfulness of summer to come.  (I thought of the thirteen-lined ground squirrels that are in a deep sleep under ground beneath the shed in our back yard.)

My 84-yr-old Joy and I do not anticipate the kind of fruit promised to Abraham and Sarah.  Instead, My Joy had a piano she no longer used. When she learned that a little girl enrolled in the Community School of the Arts (CSA) of Goshen College needed a piano, she offered her piano to her.


Little girl in concert

The teacher and her student accepted the piano to replace the little girl’s broken key board.   When the CSA offered a children’s concert at Greencroft, My Joy and I took it in.  We were surprised to see that the teacher, student and her parents were there. They gave My Joy a handmade Valentine Day card.  This is the kind of fruit that delights My Joy. She loves to make others happy.

Mary Rose

Mary Rose and Luke Morell

The little girl is fortunate to have Mary Rose Norell as a teacher. She and Luke Norell are husband and wife and both are doctors of piano and play as a duo. They have been playing together since 2009. Mary Rose invited My Joy and me to a duo performance on Valentine evening in the Sauder music center of Goshen College. That day the blizzard was so fierce that I decided not to venture out, and then we learned that the performance was postponed till the next Sunday eve.

This time My Joy went to the concert and I was brave enough to go with her.  The duo of doctors Mary Rose and Luke Norell were amazing.  They kept the attention of the audience for one and a half hours of classical music.  Then My Joy and I went home for our usual Sunday evening feast of popcorn and peanuts.  To hear and see a you tube performance by Mary Rose Norell click here  and/or click here

About Martin Lehman

I was born 92 years ago, the son of a Mennonite pastor and organic gardener in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. At age 10 I was baptized as a member of the Marion Mennonite Church. I own the "Old Fool" moniker because I want to walk the Jesus Way even though the world and much of the church takes me as a fool for doing so. In my life I have moved from being a young conservative to an elderly radical. I tell that story in My Faith Journey posted on my website.
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