“He makes grass grow for the cattle, and plants for man to cultivate— bringing forth food from the earth.” Psalm 114:14
By Bro. John L. Cash, “Country Preacher Dad”
Summer in Mississippi is a wonderful time to be alive because the Lord sends so many good things to eat from the earth. And it’s a wonderful time to be a country preacher because parishioners are generous with all the good things from their gardens. Summer produce always makes me think of the Lord because I see His wisdom and His goodness. He is infinitely wise because somehow he takes the tiny seeds we plant and multiplies them into huge delicious things like watermelons. He is so lovingly good because, in the humid heat of summer, He sends things that a person would most want to eat—all the cool, crisp, and juicy things like tomatoes and cucumbers, melons and cantaloupe.
Summertime in Mississippi is when people sit inside under the air-conditioning and shell black-eyed peas and butter beans and pick out the nutmeats from pecans that will later be made into pies. It’s the time when they prepare platters of fried squash, okra, and eggplant and chill the garden-ripe salad foods to be served with vinegar and Watkins black pepper. But first and foremost, summer in Deep South is the time that the Lord sends tomatoes. Here in Mississippi we are firmly convinced that there are two things that money can’t buy—true love and vine-ripened tomatoes.
In Mississippi, the official food of summer is the tomato sandwich. There’s a running debate about what kind of mayonnaise you should put on them—Hellmann’s or Blue Plate. I would say that the State is about evenly divided on the issue. But everybody agrees that there is only one choice of bread, and that would be “Bunny” bread—available at your local country store. Just writing about it is making me wish I had a tomato sandwich right now.
In this busy age in which we live, it’s easy to lose sight of the Lord. If we’re not careful, we begin to think our food comes from the grocery store instead of seeing its true source. Dear mamas, enjoy the bounty of summer this week and put some garden produce on the table for your little ones. Help them to give thanks to the “living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy.” (1 Timothy 6:17)
Dr. John L. Cash is the “Country Preacher Dad.” He was raised in Stuttgart, Arkansas, and is beginning his 25th year of being a country preacher in the piney woods five miles south of the little town of Hickory, Mississippi. He and his lovely wife, Susan, and his sons, Spencer (age 18) and Seth (age 15) live in the parsonage next door to the Antioch Christian Church” (where the preacher ate a fresh cucumber with his breakfast this morning). You should write him at firstname.lastname@example.org.