Hard Times

It is no secret that our country is facing difficult times economically.  We are at the beginning of an unpredictable recession.  We all know families who are out of work or struggling to make ends meet.

This book was such a beautiful narrative of a girl, family, and community who pull together during similar hard times.  Leah’s Dad, a farmer bought her a beautiful pony that she came to love dearly.  Soon after, weather conditions prevented his crops from taking hold, and he was in a position of being unable to pay back his debt.  All of his possessions would have to be auctioned; his family would have to leave house and home like other farmers had done, looking for work elsewhere.

Leah felt compelled to help.  She sold her prized pony to a local shopkeeper for $1.  With that dollar, she bid to purchase her father’s new, expensive tractor.  No one else dared to bid higher, and so she won the bid!  Thereafter, each bidder won items for only pennies and turned around and gave them right back to Leah’s Dad.  Their farm, their livelihood was saved.

Leah did miss her pony.  But the next morning, she woke up to find her pony back in its stall with a note from the shopkeeper attached.  The last part said:

“I know how you saved your family’s farm.

These hard times won’t last forever.”

And they didn’t.

In the Author’s note at the end, she tells how this story took place during the Great Depression, and how during those times, “people had to use their creativity to survive . . . The courage of the human spirit often triumphed during these hard times.”

I love that.  These are the times when the “rubber meets the road.”  We get to see the hope, faith, and love that really exist underneath the veneer of comfort and convenience.  During these times, we can choose to be generous, creative and bold in the way that we look out for each other.  Or we can miss out and be fearful, anxious and greedy.  Let’s not just “endure” these times, but really thrive in all the ways that are truly important anyway.  My husband, Don, has said, “The test during abundance is generosity.  The test during scarcity is sacrifice.”  How will we sacrifice for each other?

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