Plain and Simple

All the stages of one's work have a poetic nature

"All the stages of one's work have a poetic nature," he continued. "No one gets paid for keeping their own tools cleaned. It is an act of real art; otherwise you don't have a rapport with the tool; then it becomes a rebellious servant, not respected, not properly handled."

One day I confided to Ruth that I felt her house was a living thing. She recalled returning to her home after being aways for four months. "I waxed and shined desks and chairs, and these dead objects returned to life. Their wood almost sprouted new leaves and blossoms. I no longer felt desolate in the house."

Tino's relationship with his tools, and Ruth's care and tending of the objects in her home speak of their attitude to all things. I had to go away, to a foreign land in America, before I could see that the qualities I was looking for were here, practically in my own backyard.

~ from PLAIN AND SIMPLE by Sue Bender

Annie

Becky and Ephraim's youngest child, Annie, was born with a severe physical handicap. "Annie ... Annie", they squealed as everyone in the family touched and hugged her, never treating her as a hothouse flower, always as a normal healthy child. It was a laying-on-of-hands, a healing going on every moment.

I wasn't sure I could have stayed focused on the joy, but Becky was also realistic, understanding that something could go wrong and "Annie might be taken away from us." For now, God has given them a gift. Annie was their Treasure, their miracle.

~ from PLAIN AND SIMPLE by Sue Bender
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