He was born in 1895. Russell, my maternal grandfather, a son of farmers.
He lived in Indian Territory. Beyond the eastern states a vast expanse stretched to the sea. The whites lived on the land owned by Indians.
Escalating conflicts in Europe forced America into war. The war had no number. There would only be one war with all the world.
It was 1914. Only 19, the man of the plow, answered the call to serve in fields far away. With tearful goodbyes he rode away into the great unknown.
The farm boy could drive. Many days driving a tractor across barren land. Looking for green in the barren landscape.
God never wastes our yesterdays. Hidden deep inside is the seed. The Master Farmer knows how to bring it to life.
Russell picked to drive an ambulance on the battlefields of France and Germany. Driving and carrying the wounded and dead from the barren fields.
Praying in half sentences to make it back alive. The large red cross penetrating the darkness. He couldn’t hide.
His partner Kirk shared the burden. A friendship forged in courage. Scheduled driving into danger. The routine set fast on paper. Battle plans rarely change.
It was Russell’s call to duty. He lifted his weary body off the metal cot. Forcing on mud soaked boots. Walking slowly to the truck with the large red cross.
Kirk ran. “Man, I’ll take your turn. I’ll drive tonight.” No explanation. Drove away into the blackness.
Russell awakened to panic. Someone bleeding. The lantern casting shadows on the face.
It was Kirk. Scheduled to sleep tonight, but drove instead. Kirk bleeding. Dying.
Russell wept. He could have died. He was alive.
God never wastes our todays. Hidden deep in questions. The hands of the Master Creator forms our life into His. He holds the plans.
Peace written in blood. The farmer trudged home. Only knowing he had a purpose. Life coursed through his body. God had a plan.
God rarely reveals our tomorrows. Faith. Trust. Walking without sight.
The driver walked. Married. Son and daughter born. Heart attack took him young.
His eyes never saw grandchildren, great grandchildren walking with the Master.
We live because the farmer didn’t die in the battle. We live because The Master lives.
Faith. Trust. Walking without sight.
We can trust God’s hand.
Photography copyright © by Jane Carole Stein