Monday, July 20, 2009

dirty hands

The southern country is home to beauty, rich history, values, and good, hard-working people. One can't afford to mar their reputation, for a good name is valued above great riches here. Once lost, it seldom can be redeemed. Actions indeed speak louder than the most eloquent speech. These people look at the fruit of a tree to determine it's character. So what could they mean when they say something like, "Dirty hands account for a clean heart"?

There is something about simple, down-to-it, hard work that has a soul-cleansing effect. With my sister soon to be having a baby any day now, I have come to stay with her on her farm to help out with everyday duties while her husband is overseas. If anybody has an excuse to lay around and do a lot of nothing, she has. Despite that, she has been doing everything she can to get things together for her husband's return: scrubbing walls, vacuuming out vehicles, organizing shelves, you name it! She pulls me into her little schemes, and together we get it done.

Hard work, the kind that requires you to press past the feelings of the outward man (the flesh), the kind that brings on real sweat, the kind that you do because it needs to be done (not because there is necessarily some reward or benefit), is the kind that produces the strengthening of character, restful sleep, and a clean conscience, because it causes you to deny yourself- Score! One more point for the inner man! :D

In Ecclesiastes 4:5 we read, “Fools fold their idle hands, leading them to ruin.” I think that complements are southern saying pretty well. So dirty hands, in the case of our saying, means hard-working hands. A hard working person doesn't have much time to get into trouble, and works honestly for what he has. Also in this case, clean hands figuratively (and literally sometimes) can be a sign of idleness. They may look nice on the outside, but what do they say about those who possess them? So risk breaking a nail, and go get those hands dirty, girl!

Need motivation? Check out Colossians 3:23, "And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not to men;." Need fuel? The joy of the Lord is your strength! (Neh. 8:10)



Sarah said...

this has always been a firm belief in our home, and i am so encoraged by your post! the only thing i have to work on is patience with those who are not so framiliar with the saying! god bless you and your sister as she prepares for new life!!

Noel said...

hard working people are happy people! This has been a thought on my mind frequently. Our children are missing out when we send them to play while we work. It's so much more fun to include them. Our children need to work, it's fun and will help mature them :)

Elizabeth J. said...

Hard work is a benefit for everyone-that's what my parents have taught me and I firmly believe it. By the way, I liked the pictures, they added a nice touch to the blog post.

Carrie said...

I moved to the village in hopes to escape the everyday struggles of city life----what I found was a quiet life, full of very hard work.

Not that I'm complaining---I mean, I do have a cellar full of home canned goods to show for it.

We try to teach our children good hard work as well. We garden, chop wood, and have regular outdoor chores.

I feel fulfilled after a long day of hard work and dirty hands!

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