Things I’ve Heard – Ep. 1 – The Farmer Who Said, “Maybe”


Have you ever thought about the ways you’ve been affected by the things you’ve heard? Stories, snippets of conversations, bits of wisdom shared by elders: In many ways, the things we hear shape the people we become.

The Farmer Who Said, "Maybe" | LazyHIppieMama.comThis one time I heard…

my husband telling a story.  I don’t remember exactly all of the various bits but the general idea went something like this:

Once there was an old farmer, working out in his field. A neighbor approached and said, “I heard your boy turned 18! He’s a man now. That’s a good thing!”

The farmer nodded, “Maybe so,” he said.

Not long after the young man was injured quite badly and broke his leg.  The neighbor came to visit. “I heard about you boy’s leg. That’s terrible!”

The farmer nodded, “Maybe so,” he said.

Just that same week a man came from the draft board. There was a terrible war raging in a far off country and all of the young men were being sent to fight. However, because of his injury, the farmer’s son was excused from service.

“He got out of the war? That’s wonderful!” said the neighbor.

The farmer nodded, “Maybe so,” he said.

All of the young men left for the war and the farmer’s son stayed home. His leg was often hurting and, though he didn’t want to be involved in the war, he felt somehow less for being safe at home when so many of his peers were fighting.  He began to suffer from a terrible depression.  One day the neighbor visited and, as he left, he said to the farmer, “Your boy seems broken by his hardships. I’m sorry to see it. That’s a bad thing.”

The farmer nodded,” Maybe so,” he said.

Eventually, a nurse was sent to care for the young man.  She was a lovely girl and indescribably kind.  She showed him how to exercise his leg so that it would not hurt him any longer and her intelligent conversations and cheerful manner helped inspire him to get out of bed and start living life again.  The two of them fell deeply in love.

The couple was headed out on a date and they drove past the old men, who were standing together, talking.

“Haha! Your boy is in love with a beautiful and clever girl. That’s a good thing!”

The farmer nodded, “Maybe so,” he said.

And on and on it goes…

You see, we don’t know the big picture.  Sometimes that which seems horrible in the moment – like a young person being badly hurt – may turn out to be good. That which we think is the best thing for us may not be so great after all. Certainly it is OK to mourn or rejoice in the moment, but don’t get too bogged down in circumstance. Life is a beautiful, enormous tapestry and giving too much credence to any single thread robs you of the experience of seeing the extraordinary design of the whole.

Have you heard something that has struck a special chord with your heart?  I’d love to hear all about it! Link up a post (old or new is fine) or tell about it in the comments.

Are you, too, seeking to save the earth, promote world peace and raise productive citizens without expending too much effort? 

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About Elizabeth in MI

I'm a married mama with 2 beautiful step children, 2 from my own belly, and the best husband in the universe! I work part time at my church as a secretary and youth director and I truly enjoy 3 hour naps and reading fiction beneath my education level. Write me a note, any time at I'd love to hear from you.

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