Wagon Trips, Bumper Stickers and Singing Brides

There is a story that my dad tells just the way my grandmother used to tell it. It is the story of a story that my great-grandfather Burgess used to tell.

Grandpa Burgess was a child, riding into town on the wagon. They needed some things in order to finish the harvest. I’m not sure what. That part is never told. The part that is told is the part where my great-grandfather’s wagon passed a family, sitting on their front porch in their Sunday best. In their Sunday best on a Saturday.

The wagon stopped and the inquiries were made. The people in their Sunday best on a Saturday were waiting for Jesus to return. They were sure it would be that day. They were waiting on the Lord.

The story goes that my great-grandfather, still a boy looked at his father, my great-great-grandfather asking what they were going to do about this new information. Well, came the reply, we are going home to plow the field. Jesus will just have to find us working.

There was a bumper sticker that was popular, when I was in High school. It said “Look busy, Jesus is coming.” And it bugged me. It didn’t bug me because it mocked the idea that Jesus was coming. It bothered me because, Jesus is coming” should be the reason that the church is actually busy. And not the reason we should be looking busy.

I went to a wedding today. It is hard to put into words how sweet today was. The beautiful couple met at a sacred harp singing, and thus all music was preformed shape note style. The bride walked into the hall, glowing and singing. She walked in singing. I am usually overwhelmed by the look in the groom’s eye, by the rush of romance in the air, the joy. And there was for sure all of that. But this time, the bride came in singing.

It made me think of the bride of Christ. I hope He finds us singing. I hope He finds us actually busy. I hope He finds his Bride, working in the fields.

4 thoughts on “Wagon Trips, Bumper Stickers and Singing Brides

  1. Love it. Love it. Love it. (and not just because you tell one of my favorite stories) A little known(at least to some) piece of Christian orthodoxy is Christ’s return is imminent i.e. nothing has to take place for Jesus to return for his bride. I believe this and jump as high as I can every once in a while just to practice. How many folks can tell a story starring their great great grandfather with a major part played by their great, great, great grandfather. Now that is roots. I hope Jesus finds me working in the fields and thank you for the reminder.

  2. Oh my goodness – I wish you had a video of that. Absolutely lovely idea – and what a gift to all the friends who came to see them commit their lives to one another. And how I love that family story, Abby – YES. We should be busy. . . in a good way, not a frantic way.

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