What’s This World a comin’ to?

Ooohh!! I was mad.

“Hoppin’ mad…

mad. as. a. hornet”, they say.

I wonder if I should have taken to twitter…

created a twitter storm,

or called the local TV station?

Posted on Instagram maybe?

OR…here’s a great one…a facebook rant!

Or should I have dug an aluminum baseball bat

from the back of the coat closet

and whacked out a 15′ strip of cement curb

or historic stained glass windows?

Should I have flailed around like a two year old…

having a temper tantrum?

Why not let those frustrations fly?

Because you see, I was OFFENDED.

I was MAD and I was HURT.

Hurt. Just plain ole’ hurt.

Deep inside…I’ve got some livin’ history in there

deep in my bones…deep in the flesh of me.

And those words pierced my tender history,

the tender place of me that IS who I am.

Those words stung deep deep

and deeper still

like a #9 sewing needle

right into the fragile fabric of my soul

and the piercing needle of words,

wound around and tied a tiny little knot there,

with black evil cotton thread.

That deep piercing and knot tying

would have festered and infected



I’d have let it be

If I would just have simply let that evil knot be…

Oh, but I guard my fragile soul fabric.

I guard my heart~ the things I say~ 

the things I do~ the places I go~

it’s precious

and it makes me who I am.

I don’t want malice or hatred or bitterness living there.

I was raised on those virtues of

“Be kind to each other.

With a tender heart,

forgive each other.”


“Treat others the way YOU want to be treated.”

And that “tender heart part”…

that right there is where the fight started.

No one knew it was a fight.

A fight in my tender heart.

Only me.

I was the only one who knew about the fight.

The internal war.

I was the only one who knew about my cries for Divine Help,

and my cries for Deliverance from the evil knot

trying to embed in my soul.

Because those words so piercing

so hurtful

so binding

THOSE words

weren’t even directed at me…

but my history heard them…

Isn’t that absolutely STUPID?

The words weren’t meant for ME.

Oh yes, you can be sure my heart history heard loud and clear

and I was mad and offended.

The fight I fought was to keep my tender heart…

to keep my perspective

to always be kind…

to not let that fester become a wound that I couldn’t recover from.

A wound, a tear, a scar only hurting me…

I could not let that be.

Because there is always something to be offended about

like cotton stalks

or statues

or words said in passing…

When my parents were first married,

they farmed cotton and wheat,

dairy and sheep.

My siblings grew up pulling cotton bolls.

As time went along daddy and mother sold the farm

and began to farm the tender soil of souls.

I saw them love and care.

Being raised south of somewhere

and west of  somewhere else

and east of the edge of the pacific…

well…growing up…I never knew what racism was…

till I grew up and left home.

Yes,  oh yes, it was then I learned about racism

and customer service

and bidding a job…whether you take a hit…

or make a profit.

And making sure that a job was well done…

to bring along the next job

and the next.

That’s what I’ve known,

realizing the Hand of Provision in so many ways,

including the next job


the next client who expresses confidence.

And those cotton bolls, dangling on the edge of the cotton stalk

quivering in the occasional breeze on the family farm

field upon field of cotton stalks

so long ago…

that heat

that toil

that sweat of my family’s brow,

those bolls were the “Hand of Provision”

for the family farm.

What is this world a comin’ to?

Have we grown so accustomed to the next hand out…

the next pay check for half~hearted work ethic

that we can’t even see the “Hand of Provision” in our own lives?

Do we just expect…

and take life and privilege and opportunity for granted?

Do we?

Do we let every single offense embed deep in our soul?

Can we not even see anymore the hard work of millions…

the price that was paid for privilege and rights.

Oh, puuuleeeeezzzuh….give me a break…

if tables decorated with cotton stalks

and cotton stalks hanging in Hobby Lobby are offensive…

a display of racism..

well then,

I have a couple sisters that could probably

yank you, right back to 1955, so fast your head would spin.

I venture to guess they could show you just what is offensive

about those stalks.

And that would be:

toiling in the blazing heat

in a Southwest Oklahoma field

with no shade

filling a cotton sack

with those stickery cotton bolls

and once that sack was full

filling another sack.

And so on and so forth until the job was done.

Or maybe they would be happy to show you the offensiveness of


I seriously doubt they would have minded one

teensy tiny smidgin’ bit for anyone willing to help.

And that has absolutely nothing to do with racism,


to do with an evil festering knot

embedded deep in the tender fabric of our cultural soul.

And it might be a good idea to give some serious consideration to

those great virtues of:

“Be kind to each other.

With a tender heart,

forgive each other.”


“Treat others the way YOU want to be treated.”

And maybe we should give some serious consideration

to the malice and hatred that may be trying to embed,

as individuals, but certainly collectively as a culture.

And cry for Divine Help.

However, that’s my 2 cents worth…

and I worked hard for BOTH pennies of it!

But since I’m my mother’s daughter, I can hear her say, “Gracious sakes.  What is this world a comin’ to? I never thought I’d see the day when people decorated with cotton stalks.”


P.S. Thank you for all your kind comments and shares.  I am humbled and honored by your kindness.  You add the extra to ordinary and joy in the journey.  I love to surround myself with ones just like you.



Similar Posts


  1. Rachel…once again you’ve made me laugh…and cry…but seriously, you’ve really hit the nail on the head. Love this and would love to share.

    1. Thank you so much Sharon. I’m tired of all the offensive talk too. I just want to say to people, “go get busy doing something so you don’t have time to be offended.”

  2. Great post! You do sound like Mother, but she may have had something in mind for the cotton stalks that are hanging in my basement. Or did Daddy put them there? Maybe you brought them from Southwest Oklahoma on a visit there! Who knows, but I like the reminder each time I see them.

    1. Oh MY Goodness!!!! Are there cotton stalks in the basement still? When I was about 14 we were in Oklahoma when it was about time to pull cotton. Daddy pulled the car over to the side of the road and let me walk out in a field to see what the cotton was like. Can you imagine that? I had NEVER been in a cotton field? We pulled up some cotton stalks. I wonder if those are the same ones? Thank you for coming by and telling me that, Pallie!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *