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It’s been five growing seasons since my dad passed. Harvest is always hard for me. He loved the land and took pride in growing good crops for his herd and providing for his family. That was his life's purpose.

I ran across a story on Facebook of a farmer who was in the combine when he noticed an unfamiliar car driving slowly by the field, turn around and stop. He walked over to the car and asked if they needed help.

“No,” the driver explained. “My grandchildren are from Florida and they have never seen harvest equipment or how it worked. We’re sorry to bother you. We know this is a busy time for you.”

The farmer saw two young boys and a girl in the backseat. He asked the grandmother if it would be okay if he took them for a ride in the combine.

“Sure, but you’re so busy,” was the response.

“Never too busy for our next generation,” the farmer replied as the boys headed to the combine.

They went one round in the cab of the combine with the farmer, who showed them how the combine harvested the corn.

“Why didn’t your sister come for a ride,” he asked the boys.

“She’s shy,” one of the boys explained.

When the boys got out, so did the farmer, who pleaded with the girl to take a ride with him. She hesitantly agreed when he explained that his granddaughter had been in the combine with him the day before.

“I’m working by myself right now and would love the company,” he told her.

He let her steer the combine and talked with her. When she climbed down the stairs of the combine she was beaming.

“Girls can be farmers too,” she exclaimed.

The grandmother repeatedly thanked the farmer and told him that that is the most genuine smile we have ever seen from her.

I love that story — not only because it points out that girls can be farmers too, but because of the genuine care and concern that the farmer had for the little girl.

At the end of the story, the farmer points out that he wouldn’t have been in the field alone if the tractor hadn't broke down the day before. He hoped that he would always recognize the need to slow down and care for others — like his father had taught him.

That would have been something my dad would have done.

I have been reminded of the importance of slowing down and showing genuine care lately.

First, when we moved our daughter and spent time looking at pictures she found — where has time gone?

When I visited a church and felt warmth and love from people I now consider friends.

When I was buying a pair of horse-riding boots from a woman that I have never met. I had voiced empathy in her not being able to ride any longer and she texted back, “It kinda stinks, but I’m still here, still blessed, God loves me and Jesus died for me. I reckon it doesn’t get any better than that!”

Someone pointed out to me that I am so busy to which I replied, “God has given me a lot to do.” That is my purpose.

May I never be too busy that I underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. May I always show God’s great love.

That is what my dad taught me.

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