Monday, April 21, 2008

The Good Earth

I recently finished reading "The Good Earth" by Pearl S. Buck. Such an intriguing story. I think I could write an entire book review.
One of my favorite lines happens early on in the story. The main character, Wang, has brought his new wife home to live with him. He's out working in the fields and she, after finishing whatever needed finishing in the house, comes out to help him hoe the field, preparing it for planting. The scene is described like this:

"Moving together in perfect rhythm, without a word, hour after hour, he fell into a union with her which took the pain from his labor."

The imagery here is beautiful - of husband and wife working together - easing the burden for one another simply by sharing it.

If God ever blesses me with a family of my own, I hope to be this kind of wife and mom. The kind that makes her husbands life easier, taking the pain from his labor by joining him in it.
In the meantime, this is the kind of friend I want to be. The kind of daughter. The kind who joins people in their work, not for accolades or thank yous, but for the pleasure of knowing that I've helped ease someone's burden.

And isn't that why we're here? To take the pain of labor from one another and, when it can't be taken away, to share it. Our culture makes it easy to be separate and isolated. We applaud "self-made" men and women. Yet none of us, if we're willing to be totally honest, is truly self-made. We are who we are, first and foremost, because it's how we were created. Any talent, intelligence or ability anyone has they only have by the grace of God. And then of course there are people. A person can only succeed in business, as a parent, spouse, or friend if others are helping him or her get there. It's really quite sad that we've become so oblivious to the valuable contributions other people make into our lives.

We're not meant to go it alone. And Pearl S. Buck communicates that elegantly throughout "The Good Earth", and especially in this one simple sentence.


Blogger Jodi said...

That's lovely Stef. And I'd love a book report...a friend gave me that book probably 10 years ago (that long already? really feels like just yesterday!)and it's still on my "must read" list!!

Hope all is well...can see why you like Amsterdam as much as you do...lovely City!

9:08 AM  

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