by Winnie Kaetzel
5/02/2012 / Teen Issues
Eeeoow! My bare foot landed right smack in the middle of a fresh cow paddy and the warm gooey manure oozed easily through my cold toes! The temperature change was welcome, but the content was not. Without stopping my sprint to investigate, I turned my foot upside-down to let cold, dewy, weeds and alfalfa stalks clean the acrid dung out of the hidden recesses of my foot.
Totally ignoring my call of "Kabooooss," the cows contentedly chewed their cuds at the far end of the stubbly pasture, Buster and I circled around behind those satisfied bossies to corral them from the side and chase them to the barn where Dad waited to lock them into their individual stanchions for our morning milking ritual.
Relieving our cows of their full udders had to be done every morning and evening, summer and winter. If the Guernseys decided that the grass at the far end of the pasture was more succulent than the grain in their milking stanchion, then we had to deal with it. I was a fast runner, so Dad usually sent me on the mission to herd them up to the barn. It was all part of growing up on an Ohio farm and being a farmer's daughter.
Usually I didn't mind the run with Buster, but when my foot penetrated those hidden paddies that warmed my toes and splashed up my leg, it left a distinct aroma for hours to come. I didn't need that, especially on Sunday morning. So after the cows were milked, I scrubbed my feet with Ajax before pulling on nylon hose and heels to go to church. My city-born, teenage, friends would never abide such an aroma sitting next to them in Sunday School class. Nor would I be comfortable knowing the distinctive scent had not been totally erased.
The memory of this youthful incident came back to me recently as I struggled to rid my mind of vain imaginations which threatened to plunge my life and reputation into a pleasurable cesspool of sin. Rushing headlong into a legitimate mission, I realized almost too late that prohibitions were being exceeded. The stench of consequences would soon stain my name and character. I needed to stop this destructive daydreaming and scrub my mind with the Ajax of God's Holy Word, then yield my thought life and will to the control of His blessed Holy Spirit. Only then could I be presentable as an unashamed workman.
Bending With the Bamboo, is the memoir of Winnie's life in Laos during the Vietnam War. Following Lao people from their mountain villages to the crowded Thai refugee camps, and on to resettlement in America, the Kaetzels ministered all the way.
Copyright 2011 Winnie Kaetzel
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